GRANT HALL has suffered an injury setback that is set to keep him on the sidelines for a number of weeks.

The Middlesbrough defender has been out of action since damaging his hamstrings in the 1-1 draw at QPR in late September, but was able to return to full training at the start of the international break.

He embarked on what was effectively a mini pre-season, and was close to returning to the matchday squad, only for a new injury issue to stop him in his tracks.

The problem, which is not related to his initial hamstring injury, is still being assessed, but while Hall was due to meet a specialist today to discuss a recovery programme, Neil Warnock is concerned about the potential length of his absence.

“Grant’s had a really disappointing setback to his rehabilitation,” revealed the Middlesbrough manager. “He’s seeing someone, and I should hopefully have more news on it on Monday.

“It’s a different injury to what he had, and really innocuous. When I saw it, it was a nothing sort of injury. But at first glance, it might not be trivial. We’ll have more on it on Monday.

“It was the best he’d ever looked. He’d almost done a pre-season, and he’d lost a bit of weight. He’d looked really sharp, so it’s a big disappointment. But it shows you why you need a squad list. Young (Nathan) Wood has got to be ready to come straight in when we need him now, but I’ve got every confidence in him.”

Wood will be on the bench when Boro return to action at Huddersfield Town tomorrow, and Warnock is also hoping to be able to welcome Sam Morsy back into his squad.

Morsy, who has been unavailable since hobbling out of October’s win over Nottingham Forest, was being put through his paces on the training ground this afternoon, with a view to featuring amongst the substitutes at the John Smith’s Stadium.

“Sam’s telling me that he’s fit,” said Warnock. “The physios don’t want me to rush, so we’re still to decide (whether he’s in the squad). He’s going to have to do some sprinting, but if he comes through alright, we’ll put him on the bench. Obviously, I’d rather have Sam on the bench than not.”

Boro are unbeaten on their travels since the opening day of the season, and will look to keep that run going against a Huddersfield team that have only won one of their last seven matches.

“They’re a team that really attack,” said Warnock. “Everybody wants to get forward. They had a goalless draw with Wycombe in the week, but it wasn’t a real goalless draw, there were quite a few opportunities. I think it will be an open game because of the way they are, and the way we’re playing at the moment.”

Middlesbrough (probable, 4-2-3-1): Bettinelli; Dijksteel, Fry, McNair, Bola; Howson, Saville; Tavernier, Roberts, Johnson; Assombalonga.