Middlesbrough's promising defender Tony McMahon will be out of action for a number of months after breaking his leg in a reserve team outing.
The 20-year-old right-back broke into the Boro first team two years ago and was on the road to recovery after serious shoulder and ankle injuries had interrupted his progress last term.
McMahon suffered the leg break during Boro reserves' 2-0 victory over Liverpool at Wrexham on Thursday evening.
"When things like that happen to young players who have given their all for the club, the result becomes irrelevant," reserve team coach Colin Cooper told the club's official website.
"All everybody at the club is worried about is a speedy recovery for Tony. If these things can be classed as a good break I think it is one, but nevertheless it's a break to his leg, his lower shin."
Meanwhile, Boro have been boosted by the news that Lee Cattermole has signed a new four-year deal at the Riverside.
The 18-year-old midfielder has made eight appearances during the current campaign after breaking into the first-team last season.