Middlesbrough boss Neil Warnock drops selection hint ahead of Stoke City clash
Neil Warnock says defender Darnell Fisher will be involved for this week’s meeting with Stoke at the Riverside.
The 26-year-old full-back has been struggling with an Achilles problem in recent weeks and hasn’t featured in Boro’s last three matches.
Anfernee Dijksteel’s ankle injury, which will rule him out for the rest of the season, has reduced Warnock’s options on the right side of defence, yet Fisher’s condition has improved this week.
"Darnell has had an Achilles problem,” said Warnock when asked about the January signing. “He says he feels a bit better so he’ll be involved for sure over the next week."
Fisher is likely to be competing with Djed Spence for the right-back or wing-back spot, after the latter replaced Dijksteel against Swansea last time out.
Boro were without striker Ashley Fletcher (glute) and midfielder Marcus Tavernier (ankle) at the Liberty Stadium, but Warnock is hopeful the pair will return soon.
"Fletcher trained with us yesterday and did all the games and everything,” said the Boro boss. "The medical people are saying if I play him and it goes it's my fault. So what do you do?
"At the moment, I'm tempted not to play him but I will see him later. He's going to train with us later again and when you see him train you think he's fit.
"Tavernier is slightly different. It's not as bad as we thought. We've had a scan. But his ankle is black all the way around, just completely bruised around the bone.
"He will get pain, but I think he should be okay, maybe not to be risked for tomorrow.”