BRITT ASSOMBALONGA could be facing a lengthy lay-off after injuring his ankle in Middlesbrough’s 1-0 win over Charlton Athletic.

The striker went down in obvious pain shortly after the hour mark after he was caught from behind by a poor challenge from Darren Pratley.

He hobbled to the sidelines, but was unable to continue despite the attentions of Boro’s medical staff.

He left the Riverside Stadium on crutches, and is set to be scanned tomorrow to ascertain the full extent of the damage.

He looks certain to miss Tuesday’s game against his former club Nottingham Forest, and could be sidelined for much of the packed December programme if the scan results are not good.

“He's on crutches so when it rains, it pours,” said Woodgate. “It's thunder and lightning, it's everything. I think that's a new injury, which is not good.

“I'm not sure how long Britt will be out for. That will be another blow, but it happens and it's another opportunity for someone else to come into the team.”

Assombalonga’s absence would be a major setback, with youngster Stephen Walker finishing today’s game alongside Ashley Fletcher.

Walker and Tyrone O’Neill were the only attacking options on the bench, although Rudy Gestede returned to training at the end of last week following a lengthy lay-off of his own.

“I didn't think it was the best challenge in the world,” added Woodgate. “Darren apologised to me after the game. Darren Pratley is not that kind of player, he's not malicious in any way, but okay he's caught him.”