Middlesbrough boss Jonathan Woodgate provides injury update on captain George Friend
Middlesbrough boss Jonathan Woodgate has admitted that captain George Friend will be out for a couple of months following surgery to heal a ruptured tendon.
Friend missed the end of last season with a similar issue before making his Championship return at Blackburn in August.
Since then, the defender has gone under the knife and now needs time to make a full recovery.
“George will be a couple of months,” said Woodgate when asked about his skipper.
Boro have also been without the experienced Jonny Howson, who underwent surgery to rectify a hernia issue, and young left-back Hayden Coulson (thigh) in recent weeks.
Howson returned to the bench for Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at Cardiff, less than two weeks after having the operation, while Coulson remains a couple of weeks away.
When asked about Howson’s quick recovery, Woodgate said: “Unbelievable isn't it.
“He had an operation eight days ago, back in training after five, he knocked on my door and said he’s available.
“Obviously not quite 100 per cent fit but that's how I want my players, knocking on my door.
“That's the type of character I want and Jonny is that type of character. You know my rule, I won't rush players back and risk them.”
On Coulson, Woodgate added: “Hayden will be back after the international break, West Brom touch wood, no complications.”
Boro host Sheffield Wednesday next weekend and will take on Preston and Birmingham before the international break at the start of October.