Boro youngster hopeful for season opener

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Middlesbrough defender Seb Hines is hoping to be fit in time for the opening game of the Championship season as he looks to get his career back on track.

The 22-year-old has suffered a series of injuries during his time at the Riverside and left the field with his right leg in a brace during a reserve game against Morecambe in December.

"I'm not completely over it, I'm still getting a few niggles," he told the club's official website. "The first time I had really tested it was in La Manga when we were doing three sessions a day. I've taken a step back because I have to be sensible not to overdo it. I don't think in pre-season I will keep up with the other lads who are injury-free but I'd like to be fit for the first game of the season."

Hines, who has had five operations while at Middlesbrough, described the injury against Morecambe as "probably the worst pain I've ever experienced".

But he is determined to put his injury troubles behind him, adding: "I'm wanting to push for that centre-back spot this season. If I impress the gaffer, maybe he will put me in. I want to be part of the promotion push. I want to be able to say I was a big part of getting us back in the Premier League."

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