Middlesbrough midfielder Nicky Bailey could return to the squad for the Boxing Day clash with Nottingham Forest.

The former Charlton man missed the 2-1 npower Championship defeat at Doncaster with a groin problem, but is expected to train on Friday as he attempts to force his way back into the reckoning.

Manager Tony Mowbray otherwise has no fresh fitness concerns as his side attempts to claim a second successive victory at the Riverside Stadium in their final home game of 2010.

Only the long-term absentees are unavailable with Stephen McManus (ankle), Jonathan Franks (herniated disc), Willo Flood (knee), Rhys Williams (pelvis) and Matt Kilgallon (back) remaining on the casualty list.

Captain Paul McKenna could come back into the Nottingham Forest side.

After missing the last four matches with a groin injury, the midfielder was on the bench for the home victory over Crystal Palace last weekend.

Chris Cohen, Garath McCleary and Nathan Tyson are also options for boss Billy Davies should he wish to make changes.

Dele Adebola missed the visit of his former club Palace with a knee problem and will be fit.

The recent lack of games also means it is probably too soon for Aaron Ramsey to make his full debut, so the on-loan Arsenal star is likely to be on the bench again.

The Reds are still without strikers Dexter Blackstock and David McGoldrick (both knee).

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