Middlesbrough sweating over fitness of key striker ahead of Huddersfield Town Boxing Day clash
Britt Assombalonga is “50-50” to make his Middlesbrough return on Boxing Day, admits Jonathan Woodgate.
The Boro striker has missed the last two Championship games with an ankle injury and he will be closely assessed over the coming days.
The 27-year-old has six goals in 21 appearances this season.
Woodgate will give him every chance of making his return before deciding whether or not to involve him against Huddersfield Town for the 3pm kick-off at The Riverside.
Speaking ahead of the game, Woodgate said: “We have Anfernee Dijksteel out, George Friend out, Darren Randolph out, Ryan Shotton out and Britt is only 50-50, as well as having Paddy McNair and Marcus Browne suspended.
“Hopefully there will be nothing new.”
Woodgate has no fresh injury worries to deal with ahead of the game against the Terriers.
Boro moved five points clear of the Championship drop zone with the much-needed victory over Stoke City last Friday night.
And Woodgate has praised the work ethic of his players as they battle to climb further away from the drop zone over the festive period.
Woodgate added: “I can’t knock the players’ belief, their confidence can be low but the players are giving me everything they have got.
“Even when we got beat at Leeds we were running and trying.
“I am working and enjoying it," added Woodgate, who is anticipating a difficult afternoon against Huddersfield Town, who are sixth bottom, a point above Boro.