Middlesbrough to lose key trio following international call-ups

MIDDLESBROUGH, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 23: Riley McGree of Middlesbrough in action during the Sky Bet Championship match between Middlesbrough and Southampton FC at Riverside Stadium on September 23, 2023 in Middlesbrough, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)MIDDLESBROUGH, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 23: Riley McGree of Middlesbrough in action during the Sky Bet Championship match between Middlesbrough and Southampton FC at Riverside Stadium on September 23, 2023 in Middlesbrough, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
MIDDLESBROUGH, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 23: Riley McGree of Middlesbrough in action during the Sky Bet Championship match between Middlesbrough and Southampton FC at Riverside Stadium on September 23, 2023 in Middlesbrough, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Middlesbrough will be without three key players next month after Riley McGree, Sammy Silvera and goalkeeper Seny Dieng were all called up for international duty for the Asian Cup and African Cup of Nations.

Michael Carrick will have further selection dilemmas on his hands as a seemingly ever-growing injury list is now added to by international call-ups. Boro have been decimated by injuries this season with as many as 14 players currently listed as injured after the club reached the semi-finals of the Carabao Cup with a 3-0 win over Port Vale.

Injuries are, of course, part and parcel of football, but Boro have been hindered by a huge number of injuries, including several long-term issues to key players such as Tommy Smith and Darragh Lenihan, who are both out for the season, and summer signing Lewis O’Brien who has been out of action for a number of months. Carrick has also been without midfielder Hayden Hackney over the course of the last month while Australian international McGree has struggled with injury throughout the season having not featured since October.

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McGree has been slated to return to Carrick’s squad soon but Boro will then be without the 25-year-old again after he was called up to Australia’s squad for the upcoming Asian Cup net month. McGree is joined by Silvera, who scored in the recent win over Swansea City, with the duo set to miss as many as nine games for Boro, depending on the success of the Socceroos, which include both Carabao Cup semi-final fixtures with Chelsea as well as the Tees-Wear derby with Sunderland early in February.

McGree and Silvera are joined by goalkeeper Dieng who is also currently nursing an injury as the former Queens Park Rangers stopper prepares to fly out and meet up with the Senegal national team ahead of the African Cup of Nations. Boro have been helped in the goalkeeping department, however, after summer signing Tom Glover was left out of Australia’s Asian Cup squad.

Carrick suggested Boro are ‘still assessing’ the injuries within the squad as they prepare for a busy Christmas period before those crunch ties with Chelsea on January 9 at the Riverside and January 23 at Stamford Bridge for a place in February’s final at Wembley.