Middlesbrough captain Matthew Bates has suffered a cruciate knee ligament injury and is unlikely to be fit for the new season.
The centre back has recovered from four previous cruciate injuries and has now suffered a fifth after two full seasons without recurrence.
Bates is waiting on a verdict for his injured knee as Manager – Tony Mowbray said: “If the worst comes to the worst Matthew has to show the same fortitude that he has shown before. You keep getting kicked and you have got to keep getting back up. Let’s hope it is good news from the specialist.”