Boro lack attacking options
Middlesbrough boss Tony Mowbray is likely to be without strikers Ishmael Miller and Scott McDonald once again for the npower Championship clash with Barnsley.
Miller has missed the last three games after damaging ankle ligaments in the 2-1 home defeat by Watford on January 12, while McDonald limped out of the 1-0 defeat at Leicester six days later with a tight hamstring and has been sidelined ever since.
Both are gradually working their way back to fitness, but this game is likely to come too soon.
Central defender Jonathan Woodgate will be assessed on Friday after making his return from a four-game lay-off with a calf problem at Ipswich last weekend.
Midfielder Muzzy Carayol, who has not made a senior appearance since September because of a knee injury, could be involved, as could striker Curtis Main, who stepped up his comeback with 45 minutes for the reserves against Sunderland on Thursday, but Julio Arca remains on the casualty list after toe surgery.
Barnsley manager David Flitcroft must decide whether to hand striker Jason Scotland his first start for the club.
Scotland has struck the winning goal after stepping off the substitutes' bench in both of his first two appearances for the Tykes since arriving last month on a short-term deal until the end of the season.
But Chris Dagnall and Marlon Harewood have formed an effective partnership up front in recent weeks and Flitcroft might decide to leave Scotland on the bench and continue to use him as an impact player.
Flitcroft has no new injury or suspension problems, but defender Jim McNulty (hamstring) remains doubtful and midfielder Stephen Dawson is out with ankle ligament damage.
Barnsley are unbeaten in six matches in all competitions and will climb out of the bottom three with victory if other results go their way.