Middlesbrough boss Tony Mowbray is facing a fresh defensive crisis ahead of the npower Championship clash with Nottingham Forest.

With Matthew Bates already sidelined by a torn hamstring, loan signing Andrew Davies has been ruled out with a hamstring strain and Seb Hines is struggling with a dead leg.

If Hines makes it, he is likely to be partnered by Jonathan Grounds or German newcomer Maximilian Haas, who made his debut as a substitute during Saturday's 3-0 home defeat by leaders QPR, while the pair could link up if he does not.

Jonathan Franks is likely to miss out after turning an ankle and, while Willo Flood (dislocated kneecap), Rhys Williams (pelvis)and Mickael Tavares (fractured toe), are nearing returns, the game could come too soon for all three.

In addition, Danny Coyne (hernia surgery), Justin Hoyte (hamstring), Stephen McManus and Luke Williams (both ankle ligaments) and Kevin Thomson (hairline fibula fracture) are all still out.

Nottingham Forest have no new problems ahead of the trip.

On-loan defender Paul Konchesky and forward Nathan Tyson are likely to remain sidelined after missing the goalless draw at Millwall on Saturday with hamstring and ankle injuries respectively.

The long-term absences of Kelvin Wilson, Guy Moussi, Dexter Blackstock and Robbie Findley leave boss Billy Davies with limited options should he wish to make changes.

Garath McCleary could be in line to start after impressing from the bench at The Den while fellow forwards Dele Adebola, Marcus Tudgay, Robert Earnshaw and Dele Adebola are also available for recalls.

The game at the Riverside is Forest`s game in hand on their promotion rivals and victory would move Davies` side to within a point of second-placed Swansea.

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