RYAN SHOTTON has confirmed he has suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury, and is set to miss this weekend’s home game with Wigan Athletic.

Shotton damaged his knee in Middlesbrough’s 2-1 win at Sheffield Wednesday, and has already been forced to sit out the matches with Rotherham United and Derby County.

Tony Pulis has been reluctant to discuss the precise nature of the full-back’s problem, but Shotton took to social media yesterday to spell out the extent of his injury.

He claims to be at stage three of a five-part recovery process, which means there is very little chance of him being available to face Wigan at the weekend.

However, the two-week international break provides him with an opportunity to return to the training ground, so he could be involved when Boro travel to Brentford for their next away game on November 24.

“Forgive me for not keeping you all updated with my injury,” said Shotton, who had been an ever-present in the Championship this season prior to suffering his setback. “I have just wanted to get on with it and keep my head down. I have a partial tear on my ACL, which is a ligament in my knee.

“We are at stage three of five this week. The medical team at Boro have been and are incredible, so it’s just trusting what we are doing is going to bring me back stronger.

“Timeline is a tricky one, so unfortunately I can’t give you a length of time I’m going to be out, but I can tell you we are working on a five-week programme.”

Paddy McNair initially slotted in at right-back to replace Shotton, but the Northern Ireland international found himself on the substitutes’ bench at Stoke on Saturday as Pulis fielded Dael Fry on the right of the back four.

Fry produced a solid defensive display as he successfully shackled the dangerous Saido Berahino, although Pulis could go with McNair when Wigan visit the Riverside this weekend if he wants to provide more of an attacking threat from the full-back berth.

Meanwhile, Boro sources have played down suggestions that the club have opened talks with Everton about a possible permanent deal for Mo Besic.

Besic signed a season-long loan with the Teessiders after an attempt to sign him permanently during the August transfer window collapsed.

It has been suggested that Boro will try to strike a permanent agreement when the transfer window reopens in January. However, senior Riverside sources insist the club are happy with the current arrangement and do not currently have any plans to initiate a new round of discussions with Everton officials.

Boro will look to improve their squad when the transfer window reopens, with Pulis keen to add some pace to his side’s attacking ranks. The Boro boss pursued a number of forward targets in August, but was left frustrated when his attempts to recruit wide players came to nothing.

That will be the focus of his efforts once again, although it will inevitably be difficult to persuade clubs in the Premier League or Championship to part with members of their first-team squad in January.

Pulis will not want to lose any of his own players, although Grant Leadbitter and Ashley Fletcher could both attract attention given their lack of Championship action in recent weeks. Neither player has featured in Boro’s league matches since the middle of August.

  • Middlesbrough forward Martin Braithwaite has been named in the Denmark squad for this month’s Nations League matches against Wales and the Republic of Ireland. The Danes head to Cardiff on Friday, November 16, before hosting Ireland in Copenhagen three days later.