Middlesbrough v QPR preview

Team news ahead of Saturday afternoon's Championship clash between Middlesbrough and QPR at The Riverside.

Last Updated: 25/02/11 at 11:04

Robson: Could return for Boro

Robson: Could return for Boro

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Middlesbrough midfielder Barry Robson could return to the squad.

The 32-year-old missed the 3-2 win at Millwall with a hamstring injury, but was due to resume training on Thursday and should be available as long as he suffers no reaction.

That will come as a welcome boost to manager Tony Mowbray as he continues to deal with a lengthy injury list.

Keeper Danny Coyne could return in a fortnight as he recovers from hernia surgery and a back problem, while central defender Stephen McManus is three weeks away from resuming training after ankle ligament damage.

Rhys Williams is stepping up his bid for match-fitness following a long-term pelvic injury, but Willo Flood's comeback from a

dislocated kneecap is being delayed by a thigh strain.

Justin Hoyte's expected return from a hamstring injury has been put back by a similar problem, while Kevin Thomson and Matthew Bates remain on the sidelines.

Hogan Ephraim returns to the QPR squad but Tommy Smith will miss out again.

Ephraim has completed a three-match ban for his red card at Reading earlier this month and will probably be on the bench.

Fellow winger Smith has yet to recover from the hamstring injury he sustained against Nottingham Forest a fortnight ago, although boss Neil Warnock hopes he will be back to face Leicester next weekend.

Danny Shittu and Fitz Hall look set to keep their places in central defence after replacing Matt Connolly and Kaspars Gorkss against Ipswich in midweek and helping the leaders to a 2-0 win.

Fellow defender Peter Ramage (cruciate) and strikers Patrick Agyemang and Jamie Mackie (both broken leg) are long-term absentees.

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