Kitson has been named in the starting line-up alongside former Reading team-mate Leroy Lita as Gordon Strachan attempts to claim his first victory as Boro boss.
Strachan has made three changes in all, with fit-again full-back Emanuel Pogatetz wearing a protective mask as he replaces Jonathan Grounds.
The final change sees Julio Arca returning to midfield, with Rhys Williams expected to start at right-back in place of the absent Justin Hoyte.
MIDDLESBROUGH (4-4-2): Jones; Williams, St Ledger, Wheater, Pogatetz; O'Neil, Osbourne, Arca, Johnson; Lita, Kitson.
Subs: Coyne (gk), Taylor, Yeates, Digard, Bent, Franks, McMahon.
NOTTM FOREST (4-4-2): Camp; Gunter, Morgan, Wilson, Cohen; Garner, McKenna, Moussi, Anderson; Adebola, McGoldrick.
Subs: Smith (gk), Chambers, McGugan, Earnshaw, McCleary, Blackstock, Majewski.