JULIO ARCA may have played his last game for Middlesbrough, after the 32-year-old hit a setback in his recovery from a toe injury.
Boro manager Tony Mowbray was buoyed by Arca's return to training last week after the former Sunderland midfielder - who is out of contract in June - underwent surgery to fix the problem.
But Arca broke down in training yesterday ahead of tonight's game at Huddersfield and Mowbray fears the worst.
"I don't think Julio is going to make the rest of the season," he said. "I had a chat with him today and he's had a setback with his toe.
"He had trained for the last three or four days and looked really good in training.
"Julio is a quality footballer with the ball at is feet and he had pepped training up. But after this setback I'm not anticipating seeing him again this season.
"It's a shame for him and for the club. We wish him well and if we don't see him again it will be a disappointing end because he's out of contract in the summer."
Arca is Boro's longest-serving player and has made 155 starts and 30 substitute appearances in all competitions since joining Boro from the Black Cats for £1.75m in 2006, scoring nine goals.
In total he has made 320 starts and 42 sub appearances in English football, with 32 goals to his name.
He signed a new two-year Boro contract at the end of the 2010/11 season after being voted the club's Player of the Year.
He last played in Boro's 3-1 Capital One Cup win over Preston North End in September.