Robson big doubt for the Boro

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Middlesbrough midfielder Barry Robson is facing a race against time to be fit as the sixth-placed club entertain a Reading side who sit two places above them after four successive wins.

The 33-year-old returned from a three-match lay-off with a dislocated finger and broken bone in his hand in Tuesday night’s win at Millwall, but that injury remains sore and he also picked up a thigh strain at the Den and is being assessed.

Goalkeeper Danny Coyne (calf), midfielder Merouane Zemmama (hernia) and striker Scott McDonald (medial ligament) are definitely out, while Kevin Thomson completes his two-match ban.

Reading defenders Shaun Cummings and Andy Griffin could make a timely return to first-team action at the Riverside, allowing Matt Connolly and Ian Harte to drop to the bench.

Winger Michail Antonio is one absentee for the Berkshire outfit, having joined Sheffield Wednesday until the end of the season.