BRITT ASSOMBALONGA’S ankle injury is not as bad as first feared, and the Middlesbrough striker even has an outside chance of being involved in tomorrow’s game at Swansea City.

Assombalonga suffered an ankle injury as he was fouled by Darren Pratley in last weekend’s 1-0 win over Charlton Athletic, and having left the Riverside Stadium on crutches six days ago, the club’s leading scorer was forced to miss Tuesday’s draw at Nottingham Forest.

It was initially feared he might have suffered serious ligament damage, but scans have revealed a much minor issue.

Assombalonga is yet to resume full training, and is therefore likely to be a substitute at best tomorrow, but he has been able to take part in some light work this week and should be available for Boro’s festive games.

Jonathan Woodgate said: “The scans have shown the injury is not as bad as it might have been, or that we first feared. That’s a massive boost for us, but I need him to be right.

“There’s a big pile of fixtures coming now as we head into the Christmas period, so I need Britt to be right. I don’t want to risk him if he’s 60-40 or 70-30 because I need him for the games that are coming.

“Britt hasn’t trained fully with the group yet, but he’s been in the sandpit and doing work in the pool. We’ll see how he is today.”

While Assombalonga is a doubt for tomorrow’s game, Lewis Wing, Marcus Browne and Rudy Gestede are all available for the trip to the Liberty Stadium.

Darren Randolph, Anfernee Dijksteel, George Friend and Ryan Shotton remain out of action though as they continue to nurse long-term problems.

Since losing heavily to Leeds United, Boro have taken four points from matches against Charlton and Nottingham Forest, and with Swansea’s form having dipped after they made a strong start to the season, the Teessiders will travel to South Wales in a confident mood.

Woodgate said: “You turn corners, but then once a defeat comes, it happens again. But we’ve played well of late, really well, and hopefully that continues.

“They’ll be thinking they can beat us, we’ll be thinking we can beat them. You need to know whether your team is going to turn up and at the minute my team is turning up and giving me everything.”

Woodgate spent last night with Boro owner Steve Gibson, and is delighted to have the continued backing of a figure he regards as one of the best chairmen in the game.

He said: “I was with the chairman last night and he was absolutely fantastic. He’s really positive. He’s someone who stands by you in tough times, and he’s been absolutely fantastic for me.

“I’m so lucky to have a chairman who backs his manager and gives you time. It’s good that I’ve got a British chairman who knows the club inside out and who this means everything to. There’ll be a lot of jealous managers out there that I’ve got a chairman like him.”