MUZZY Carayol is to return to the Middlesbrough squad for the first time in 11 months tonight against Bolton Wanderers.
It was in March last year that the fast winger suffered a knee injury during the 0-0 draw at this season’s promotion rivals Bournemouth.
Carayol has featured for Boro’s under-21 side on numerous occasions since his return to training and is now set to play a part in the final third of the season.
Boss Aitor Karanka is delighted to be able to call upon the creativity of the midfielder once again.
“Muzzy is good news, he is on the bench tonight,” Karanka said.
“It is stepping his recovery up from under-21 games and his last game was better than the previous one and so was his last one before that.
“It is easy steps and the following one is to be on the bench and then to play.
“If I can use him tonight it will be very good news for everybody.”
Carayol’s return makes being selected in the starting XI that bit more difficult, and means Albert Adomah will have to maintain his high quality performances.
“It’s good for the squad because he’s another player involved with the team,” Karanka added to BBC Tees.
“He knows how important he can be for the team.
“I hope he can play in his best way because he’s an amazing player.
“When you recover a player from a long-term injury it can be good news for everybody.
“I told him the first week he was injured that he was going to come back more mature and he is more mature now.”
Dimi Konstantopoulos will return in goal against the Trotters having served his one-match suspension for the red card he received last Wednesday against Birmingham City.
Boro are aiming to return to the top of the Championship and collecting their first win in four games having been beaten by Arsenal and Leeds in the past nine days, as well as drawing against Birmingham.
But they will have to do it without Jelle Vossen, who was subbed against Leeds with a head injury.
Karanka explained the Belgian’s current situation: “Jelle’s injury, fortunately, is nothing serious.
“It was concussion and he is out for a few days.
“He is going to rest at home but the main thing is it’s nothing serious and he can be with us soon.
“It is difficult for me to say at this stage if he can play against Sheffield Wednesday (on Saturday).”