Paddy McNair to be assessed after busy Northern Ireland schedule
Unhappy Middlesbrough boss Neil Warnock will make a late check on midfielder Paddy McNair ahead of Saturday’s Sky Bet Championship clash with promotion rivals Norwich.
McNair played 104 minutes of Northern Ireland’s Euro 2020 play-off final defeat by Slovakia and then the full 90 minutes of the Nations League fixtures against Austria and Romania, much to his club manager’s displeasure.
Warnock will assess one of his key players as Boro prepare for the first of nine games inside 28 days, but he will be able to call upon defender Grant Hall for the first time since September following his recovery from a calf injury.
Former Sunderland striker Duncan Watmore, who has been training with Boro for some time and this week signed a short-term deal, could be involved in the squad for the first time, while Sam Morsy has had time to rest a hamstring problem, but Ashley Fletcher remains a long-term absentee.
Norwich head coach Daniel Farke will have a decision to make over defender Grant Hanley after he withdrew from the Scotland squad with a hamstring injury.
Striker Adam Idah, an unused substitute on his return from suspension against Swansea last time out, is also a doubt after missing the Republic of Ireland’s 0-0 Nations League draw with Bulgaria on Wednesday evening through injury.
Xavi Quintilla, Todd Cantwell, Lukas Rupp and Ben Gibson all missed the 1-0 win over the Swans, while Sam Byram (hamstring), Kieran Dowell (ankle) and Onel Hernandez (groin) all continue their respective recoveries.
Norwich sit third in the Championship, one point behind leaders Reading.