Viduka hopeful over fitness
By Graeme Bailey
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Middlesbrough are hopeful Mark Viduka will be fit for their next Premiership game.Middlesbrough are hopeful Mark Viduka will be fit for their next Premiership game against Blackburn although he has been forced out of Australia's forthcoming World Cup clash.
Viduka has withdrawn from the Australian squad for their clash with Solomon Islands, but Boro are looking for him to be available for the match with Blackburn on October 16.
The Aussie striker has a hip complaint and has missed Boro's last three games.
"Mark has had a hip problem and is seeing a specialist," said Boro boss Steve McClaren.
"We hope to clear the problem up during the international break, so he won't be joining up with Australia."
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink is still struggling with a hamstring problem - but he should also be nearing full fitness for the match against Blackburn as should Ray Parlour, Ugo Ehiogu, Franck Queudrue and Andrew Davies.
Boro are still waiting for news of Stuart Parnaby's back injury, which forced him off at Manchester United on Sunday.
Should Hasselbaink and Viduka return to full fitness in the next week, Boro may allow striker Malcolm Christie to join local rivals Sunderland on loan.