Middlesbrough midfielder Gary O'Neil will delay a hernia operation as boss Gareth Southgate looks to solve his side's injury crisis.

The 26-year-old was due to go under the knife this week but will play through the pain barrier after an injury to Didier Digard. Digard had to be substituted in the Championship curtain-raiser against Sheffield United with a groin problem and will undergo a scan to discover the extent of the injury.

Southgate told the club's official website: "Given the injury to Didier, Gary wants to help the team by remaining available, so the plan is now for him to have the op just before or after our game with Bristol City (on August 29)."

He added: "He has been suffering some pain and that's why we didn't start him against Sheffield United, but he feels a little better after Friday."

"Didier has a groin injury, possibly a small tear, we will know more on Wednesday when he has scans."

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