Digard's Boro boost
Middlesbrough's midfield injury crisis looks to have eased as Didier Digard should face Sunderland.
Last Updated: 17/09/08 5:04pm
Middlesbrough's midfield injury crisis looks to have eased as Didier Digard and Julio Arca are both hopeful of making Saturday's derby clash at Sunderland.
Middlesbrough boss Gareth Southgate had been looking increasingly short of midfield options for the Wear-Tees derby when Digard joined Mohamed Shawky and Arca on the sidelines.
Arca may have even been forced into an earlier than expected comeback, but now Digard looks as if he could make the game despite picking up a knee injury in the weekend defeat at Portsmouth.
"Didier seems to be coming along okay. He did some work with us yesterday [Tuesday]," Boro coach Colin Cooper confirmed.
"He is jogging and passing the ball, and now we must hope that there is no reaction over the next couple of days.
"He's a tough lad, but we are still aware of the fact that he is not there yet, having missed so much of last season.
"But we are pleased with his progress and now hopefully he can push on to the next level."
Arca made his comeback for Boro's reserves on Tuesday and he remains hopeful of being involved against his former club.
"My ankle feels a bit stiff but it's getting there slowly," Arca said.
"I could maybe be on the bench on Saturday but it depends if the manager needs me.
"I don't think I will be available to play from the beginning but if he needs me to be on the bench I think I could be.
"It's a big game for me personally but the main thing is my ankle now.
"So if in the coming days it's not as good as I'd like it to be I'll maybe leave that game.
"I'd love to be involved in the game but I don't want to risk my ankle and make it worse and maybe miss another four or five games. So perhaps it would be better to miss this one and be fit to play the rest of the games."