Aitor Karanka says he has a number of injury concerns to weigh up before Sunday's FA Cup Third Round match against Sheffield Wednesday.
After a busy schedule of Premier League fixtures over the festive period, the Head Coach will check on the fitness of a few of his Boro squad.
"I know how important this competition is in this country and I want to put out the best team to win" he said.
"Antonio Barragan and Viktor Fischer are out for sure.
"I have doubts with Gaston Ramirez.
"Fabio couldn't train yesterday and Grant Leadbitter didn't train yesterday or today."
Meanwhile, new signing Rudy Gestede is an option for Karanka to call upon.
"Rudy will be a really good player for us," he said.
"He gives us something different and I am pleased he is here so early in the window.
"I will have to think but I don't think he will start from the beginning on Sunday."