JONATHAN WOODGATE has revealed that Anfernee Dijksteel is the latest Middlesbrough player to be told he faces weeks on the sidelines.

The Dutch defender suffered a knee injury in the victory over Barnsley in midweek and will have to undergo an operation to rectify the issue.

That means he will miss tomorrow’s trip to Leeds United and he is unlikely to play again this year, just like goalkeeper Darren Randolph who has a long-standing thigh problem.

Middlesbrough have also got major doubts surrounding the fitness of Britt Assombalonga and midfielder Paddy McNair ahead of the trip to Elland Road – and Middlesbrough already have a long absentees list.

“Rudy Gestede is out, Marcus Browne out, Ryan Shotton, George Friend out, Darren Randolph out, Britt is 50-50 and Paddy doubtful,” said Woodgate.

“Anfernee is out, 100 per cent out. He needs a knee operation. It’s no problem, I will deal with it. It’s one of those things, injuries will happen.

“George Saville will be back from suspension. He was doing well before his red card against Derby. He will be back in contention now. Britt has had an ankle injury, won’t train today. I will see how he is.

“Three games in six days is difficult for any squad, particularly with the squad we have got. It’s backs against the wall, we have to come out fighting. Marvin Johnson has another two games to serve of his ban too.

“If you look at my bench that will tell the story. These youngsters will get a chance. I won’t be scared to put them on if I need to.”

Middlesbrough head to Leeds having climbed out of the relegation zone courtesy of the 1-0 win over Barnsley in midweek.

Now Woodgate will return to his former club, where his career started, hoping Middlesbrough can surprise the title chasers.

“The mood has always been good,” said Woodgate. “If you look at it, it’s one defeat in six, you can take stats anyway you want, it was a positive, the performances have been better of late.

“You need wins, we have a difficult game against Leeds and they have won the last four, lost one at home all season and are right in contention for promotion.

“Leeds are an exceptional team, with a fantastic manager with experience in world football. He’s a well-respected coach at that club. Last season they did well when he took over, it will be a difficult game. The atmosphere they have at Elland Road will make it a difficult game.

“Middlesbrough are my club, born and bred, but obviously I do look for Leeds results. It has a special place in my heart, coming through the ranks. There is only one team I want to win Saturday. If I managed Shrewsbury and went to Leeds I would want Shrewsbury to win.”