Middlesbrough boss confirms major injury boost ahead of Leeds United clash

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Leeds United go to the Riverside Stadium on Monday evening.

Middlesbrough will hope to have Paddy McNair available for Monday’s visit of Leeds United with the defender back in training.

McNair has not featured for Boro since before the March international break after returning with an injury. The defender was almost ever-present before picking up the issue and often captained his side in the absence of Jonny Howson.

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The 28-year-old had been pencilled in for a return in the final weeks of the season and after training with his Boro teammates this week, expects to be involved come Monday. But Carrick revealed that he will still be without a number of players including Dael Fry, Josh Coburn and goalkeeper Tom Glover.

"Paddy is back around the group, Alex (Bangura) is obviously back around the group and has been training for a number of weeks which is really pleasing," Carrick said. "Josh is a bit further off, Dael is a bit further off. That's pretty much where we're at.

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"[Glover] had a really small procedure on his finger, so he'll miss the next three games. It's not a big deal. It all seems in a good place with Josh. He's back on the grass, not totally with us but he's back on the grass.

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“At certain times with certain players, you have to look after them a little bit and give them a bit more time. You might take a hit short term but there's a long career ahead for the boys so it's our responsibility to look after them. We're confident Josh will be in good shape."

Boro will also have two extra absentees, though not through injury, illness or suspension. Luke Ayling and Sam Greenwood are both on loan from Leeds and therefore not eligible to play against their parent club.

Carrick’s side remain in the hunt for a play-off spot after putting together a nine-match unbeaten run, although they will likely need to win all three of their final games to stand any chance of a top-six finish.