The Boro boss confirmed that George Friend picked up a knock on his knee and remains a doubt for the game.
Daniel Ayala also remains sidelined with a long-running ankle injury.
Gaston Ramirez returns to the Boro squad after a one-match ban.
Speaking to the official Boro website, Karanka said “We have a few doubts in terms of fitness. The players who were away have returned, but they have had long journeys.”
“We also have Dani Ayala out, and we have a doubt with George Friend. He had a knock on his knee so we will need to check.”
When asked about Chelsea, Karanka said, “I think Chelsea are definitely one of the favourites for the league, especially as they are not playing Champions League football.”
“Chelsea is another tough challenge for us. Antonio Conte is settling in the league very well but we can show once again how we can compete.”
Meanwhile, Chelsea boss Antonio Conte confirmed he has a fully fit squad to choose from.
"Costa had a bit of an injury after the game with Everton. He trained on Wednesday and his physical condition is good. At the moment he can play."