On-loan midfield star Stewart Downing has been recalled by his employers Middlesbrough FC, with immediate effect.
Downing has scored three goals in his six appearances in red and white, most recently at the match against Coventry at Highfield Road last Monday night.
Middlesbrough need Downing back at the Riverside for cover in midfield, as they assess injuries to Juninho (hamstring) and Doriva (ankle).
But Mick McCarthy was today being pragmatic about the news. “Steve [McClaren] said about a week ago that he might need to call Stewie back, so you could say that we’ve had an extra two games out of him.
“It’s a blow but we’ll get on with it, it gives other people a chance. I said he’d give us balance and pace down that side and he has done. He’s chipped in with some goals and he wants to play as well. He’s been very good for us and we’re sad to lose him.”
So with the additional loss of another midfielder, Colin Healy, after his sickening injury during Monday’s match at Coventry, it looks like the Lads are two midfielders down – but two more are on their way back from injury, with Thomas Butler and Jason McAteer both saying they feel ready for first team action again.