Boro Head Coach Aitor Karanka has paid tribute to injury victim Alex Baptiste and says the summer signing is making good progress.

The former Bolton defender suffered a double fracture of his leg just 20 minutes into the pre-season friendly at York City, his first appearance in a Boro shirt.

The injury was a huge blow to the player and the club, but Karanka says Baptiste's presence around the club, as he continues his re-hab, is a big boost for everyone.

"He's always positive and smiling," said Karanka.

"Sometimes you lose perspective and injured players can feel forgotten, but he gives us real energy.

"He was joking with me after the injury and he said he would be ready for the first game at Preston! He's a good character.

"He is going really well in terms of progress and I'm really pleased with him. When you take an injury in a positive way you can be there sooner. He's working really well."

While Baptiste is progressing towards making his competitive bow for Boro, Rhys Williams and Damia Abella are also on their respective roads to recovery as they continue their own re-hab.

Damia has been sidelined for 12 months now after suffering an ACL injury at Cardiff City last September while Williams' own comeback from injury lasted only minutes at Barnsley in January before he was stretchered from the pitch with an Achilles injury.

"Rhys and Damia are different to Alex," said Karanka. "With Rhys, we have to take time with him.

"His mood is not as positive as Alex and we understand that. It was the second time for him when he got injured at Barnsley last season.

"Rhys and Damia are having difficult moments and we have to help them. They are mature and they know how difficult it has been for them."