DAEL FRY will return to the Middlesbrough squad for tomorrow’s visit of Millwall to the Riverside Stadium, with head coach Jonathan Woodgate considering whether to throw him straight into the team.

The talented young defender, who attracted interest from Burnley among other clubs this summer, has not played since suffering a hamstring injury in April but he has edged closer to full fitness in recent weeks.

Now Fry will be involved against the Lions, even if he starts on the bench, and will be competing with Ryan Shotton and Daniel Ayala to start at the heart of the defence.

It is not all good news for Middlesbrough on the injury front, though, with Woodgate having to keep an eye on George Friend and Hayden Coulson. The two left-backs missed Woodgate’s first win as head coach against Wigan on Tuesday with thigh problems.

Woodgate said: “George is touch and go, Hayden isn’t fit for the game. We are really light in these areas. It’s a pity we couldn’t get a couple more in the transfer window. But we are on the back of a win and lads should be full of confidence.

“We have to get on with it, we would have liked a couple more in. I have full confidence in the squad I have got.”

Woodgate is already having to consider ways of mixing his starting line-up and fears burn-out later in the campaign because of the size of his squad.

He said: “The Championship is relentless, if we do pick up a couple more injuries, fatigue, we will be really short. That’s not ideal.

“If you look at Britt Assombalonga, Ashley Fletcher, I can’t keep playing them 90-90-90, they will run out of gas. Adam Clayton’s position as well … I can’t keep expecting him to go the same, every game.

“When you get to November, December, January time, when you need to call on the squad … it doesn’t keep me awake at night, but it’s not ideal. I have to deal with it and I will concentrate on what I have got.”