MIDDLESBROUGH defender Darragh Lenihan will miss the rest of the season after undergoing surgery on his ankle.

The Republic of Ireland international has been sidelined since suffering an injury in late September, with his last appearance having come in the 2-1 home win over Southampton.

It was initially hoped that the centre-half would be able to recover via a period of rest and rehabilitation, and while Michael Carrick was reluctant to go into too much detail over the exact extent of Lenihan’s problem in the last few weeks, it was clear he had hoped to have one of his key players back in action before too long.

That will not now be the case, with the decision having been made to send Lenihan into hospital for an operation.

The 29-year-old posted a picture on his personal Instagram account earlier today which showed him in a hospital bed wearing a surgical gown.

He then used the caption next to the image to reveal that he had undergone surgery and was therefore set to miss the remainder of the campaign.

Lenihan said: “Road to recovery begins today after undergoing a successful operation. Gutted to be missing the rest of the season, but I’ll be helping the lads as best I can from afar.”

In Lenihan’s absence, Carrick has been fielding Paddy McNair alongside Dael Fry at centre-half, and this week’s events could alter Boro’s long-term thinking over McNair’s position.

The Northern Irishman will enter the final six months of his current deal at the turn of the year, and prior to Lenihan’s injury, it had been speculated that Boro could have been willing to listen to offers for McNair during the January transfer window.


With Lenihan sidelined for the rest of the season, there will be a much greater reluctance to lose McNair before the end of the campaign, although Carrick stated earlier this month that there had not been any talks with the 28-year-old over a possible new deal.

Rav van den Berg is another option for the centre-half position, although with the Dutchman currently required at right-back because of a long-term injury to Tommy Smith, Boro’s recruitment team could look to bring in another central defender when the transfer window reopens at the turn of the year.