Ameobi set for Boro bow
Loan signing Sammy Ameobi could make his debut for Middlesbrough in the clash with npower Championship leaders Cardiff.
The 20-year-old was cup-tied for Wednesday night's 2-0 FA Cup fifth round defeat by Chelsea after playing for parent club Newcastle in the third round, but may be involved for the first time at the weekend.
Kieron Dyer and Josh McEachran were also ineligible and will return to the squad.
However, manager Tony Mowbray is likely to be without central defender Andre Bikey, who left the field before half-time after aggravating an existing hamstring problem.
Jonathan Woodgate has a chance of returning from a calf injury but striker Lukas Jutkiewicz (ankle), defenders Stuart Parnaby (hamstring) and Justin Hoyte (hip) and midfielder Julio Arca (toe) remain on the sidelines.
Cardiff are likely to be without Mark Hudson for the trip to the Riverside after the captain picked up an ankle injury.
The 30-year-old centre-back had to be withdrawn in the victory over Wolves and scans suggested the defender will be sidelined for meeting with Middlesbrough and the visit of Derby.
Hudson, who had only previously missed one npower Championship game, could be replaced by Cardiff youth product Ben Nugent who stood in when Ben Turner was sidelined earlier in February.
But the youngster has missed the last two games with an injury to his leg so Malky Mackay may shuffle his defence with Kevin McNaughton coming in at right-back and Matt Connolly partnering Turner.
Meanwhile Rudy Gestede and Jordon Mutch both netted for the Bluebirds' development side in midweek to hand a timely reminder to the watching Mackay.
The Bluebirds sit eight points clear at the top of the table with 13 games to go.