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.
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"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.