The Australian striker, a £3.5m buy from Celtic, has been struggling with a hamstring problem and was expected to play one match over Easter.
His inclusion this afternoon is likely to mean he will be missing at Plymouth on Monday. He replaces Lee Miller in the Boro attack against Palace.
Young winger Jonathan Franks has also been preferred to Julio Arca on the left at the Riverside Stadium, as manager Gordon Strachan looks to close the gap to the play-offs to four points.
MIDDLESBROUGH: Jones; Hoyte, Wheater, McManus,Taylor; Robson, O'Neil, Williams, Franks; Killen, McDonald.
Subs: Coyne (gk), Lita, O'Shea, Miller, Arca, Grounds, Naughton.
CRYSTAL PALACE (4-5-1): Speroni; N'Diaye, McCarthy, Davis, Lawrence; Ambrose, Derry, Danns, Carle, Ertl; Lee. Subs: Manns, John, Scannell, Andrew, Comley, Zaha, Holland.