Boro hopeful of Jonny Howson return for Chelsea clash

Boro hopeful of Jonny Howson return for Chelsea clash

As Middlesbrough FC prepare to face Chelsea, manager Michael Carrick expresses optimism about Jonny Howson's fitness, while anxiously awaiting news on Isaiah Jones' hamstring injury.

Boro manager, Michael Carrick, is hopeful that Jonny Howson will be fit in time for Tuesday's Carabao Cup semi-final against Chelsea.

Providing an update on the injury situation, Carrick stated, "Jonny took a knock in training so we're just seeing how he is."

"That wasn't a rest or anything, he wasn't available. I don't know for Chelsea. I'm hopeful but I don't know for sure."

During Boro's draw at home to Rotherham United, Isaiah Jones was forced off the field early due to a hamstring problem. It remains to be seen if he will be fit for the second leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final at Stamford Bridge, with Carrick hopeful that Jones' injury is only a minor one.

"We’re waiting to see on Izzy," said Carrick.

"We’re hoping that will be a bit of a nerve or neuro problem rather than a muscle injury, but at this stage we don’t know."

"I’m hoping for the best, but we’ll have to wait and see. We’ll wait on the medical team and find out where he is."

"I wouldn’t risk him, or any players, long-term, if they weren’t capable. Listen, Tuesday is an important game and a big game, but we’ll see who we’ve got available and pick the best team."

In spite of the setbacks with Howson and Jones, Middlesbrough received positive news on the injury front. In the second half, Josh Coburn, who had been struggling with groin pain, was introduced as a substitute.

Lewis O'Brien, who had suffered a serious injury in September, made his first appearance since then, when he was brought on late in the game.

Paddy McNair, who had not played since early December, also returned to the bench.

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