The Teessiders have suffered several injury setbacks this season and a total of EIGHT players either missed or were forced off during Tuesday’s draw with Birmingham. We take a closer look at Boro’s absentees and when they could return – scroll down and flick through our picture gallery to find out:
1. Daniel Ayala (ankle)
The Spanish centre-back was forced off during the trip to Preston on New Year's Day. Following last week's defeat at Fulham, Woodgate said he expects Ayala to be sidelined for at least another four weeks. That would see the 29-year-old miss games against Blackburn, Wigan, Brentford and Luton.
Photo: Getty Images
2. Britt Assombalonga (ankle)
Over a month has passed since Assombalonga's last Boro appearance. Woodgate is hopeful the striker will be available for next weekend's meeting with Blackburn though.
Photo: George Wood
3. Ryan Shotton (ankle)
After a decent start to the season, the 31-year-old defender went off the radar due to an ankle injury. Shotton's last appearance came against Huddersfield at the end of October but he is making progress. Woodgate said the centre-back will return to full training this week but will have to play an under-23s match before making his comeback.
Photo: Nathan Stirk
4. George Friend (thigh)
Like Shotton, Friend is expected to play for the under-23 side before returning to the first team. The Boro skipper has been doing work on the training pitch and looks set to be available again next month.
Photo: Richard Sellers