JONATHAN WOODGATE has refused to rule Britt Assombalonga out of tomorrow’s game at Nottingham Forest, even though the Middlesbrough striker left the Riverside Stadium on crutches in the wake of Saturday’s 1-0 win over Charlton Athletic.

Assombalonga was unable to finish the weekend victory over the Addicks after suffering ankle damage when he was caught from behind by a poor challenge from Darren Pratley.

The striker limped to the sidelines before heading down the tunnel, and had to wait for the injury to be scanned in order to allow the swelling on his ankle to subside.

He is a major doubt for tomorrow’s game at the City Ground, although Woodgate did not want to categorically rule him out while there was still even the slightest prospect of him being involved.

“Britt’s in a scanner now,” said the Boro head coach this afternoon. “So I’ll find out later on what it is with him. Let’s see how he is, he might be fit for Tuesday. Let’s see.”

If Assombalonga does not make it, Woodgate faces a selection dilemma. Rudy Gestede is unlikely to feature as he is due to turn out for the Under-23s against Aston Villa tonight, but there will be an understandable reluctance to hand Stephen Walker his first league start given he only turned 19 in October.

An alternative option would be to restore Paddy McNair to the starting side and play either the Northern Irishman or Marcus Tavernier in a more prominent attacking-midfield role behind Ashley Fletcher.

McNair is available after serving a one-match ban at the weekend – Marvin Johnson is also expected to come back into the squad after completing a suspension of his own – while Lewis Wing could be also make the matchday 18 after training today following his recovery from a knee problem.

“Paddy McNair will be back in contention,” confirmed Woodgate. “Lewis Wing trained (yesterday), so let’s see how he is for the game.”