BEN GIBSON faces a month on the sidelines after suffering a hamstring injury in the opening minute of Middlesbrough's 2-0 win over Birmingham City.
Gibson was forced to hobble off after damaging his hamstring after just 15 seconds of the opening game of the season.
The centre-half fell awkwardly after tussling with Wesley Thomas, and was replaced by Kenneth Omeruo, who went on to have an impressive game alongside Daniel Ayala.
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Gibson is due to have a scan later today, but head coach Aitor Karanka is already resigned to being without the youngster for at least a month.
Karanka said: "I think Gibson will be out for about four weeks. But I am not too concerned because I have other players.
"It was the worse thing that could have happened to him, and it's a hamstring problem. We were happy with him in pre-season, but he had to run in the first ten seconds and it went."
Omeruo was originally named on the substitutes' bench after missing the majority of pre-season following his World Cup exploits with Nigeria, but Karanka was not surprised to see the Chelsea loanee slipping seamlessly back into things following a previous loan spell last season.
He said: "Kenneth looks like a very experienced player, and the World Cup has given him a lot of confidence. I dind't have any doubts about him because I know him very well.
"He is improving every single minute. He hasn't played many games in the Championship, but he looks like he has been playing in the league for ten or 15 years."