Middlesbrough defender David Wheater may not play again this season after damaging ankle ligaments in training.
The 23-year-old, who has a year left on his current contract, missed Saturday's 2-0 defeat at West Brom because of the injury and manager Gordon Strachan fears his campaign could be over with two games still to play.
Strachan told the club's official website: "It's unfortunate because I think David and Mick [Stephen] McManus were getting something together. We went about eight games undefeated so they have done well."
He added: "It was just a freak accident in training, so it's a pity for the big fella because he was finding a bit of form and I think he enjoyed playing with Mick.
"I don't think he will be fit for the rest of the season."
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