When Britt Assombalonga could return to Middlesbrough training after Africa Cup of Nations exit
Britt Assombalonga’s African Cup of Nations involvement is over following DR Congo’s shock defeat to tournament debutants Madagascar on Sunday.
The Middlesbrough striker played the full 90 minutes after winning his first international start for the Leopards, before he was substituted in extra-time following a 2-2 draw.
Congo were then beaten 4-2 on penalties with Marcel Tisserand and Everton winger Yannick Bolasie missing the decisive spot kicks.
Assombalonga is now set to receive an extended break following his involvement at the tournament, which will rule the forward out of this week’s friendlies against Gateshead and Hartlepool.
The Teessiders then face a trip to Germany to face 1 FC Heidenheim on Saturday June 20, though that also seems a push for Assombalonga given his recent exploits.
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Boro gave their other international players an extra week off following the recent Euro 2020 qualifiers, with Paddy McNair, Martin Braithwaite, George Saville and Darren Randolph joining up with the squad in Austria last week.
That totalled to just over two weeks off, though the quartet did sit out Boro’s first pre-season friendly against Grazer AK last week.
If Assombalonga receives the same amount of time off, he’ll return around the same time as Boro’s trip to Salford on Tuesday July 23.
A more realistic target may be the Teessiders’ final pre-season friendly against St Etienne at the Riverside on Sunday July 28, ahead of Boro’s Championship opener at Luton on Friday August 2.