Aitor Karanka says he will leave it late before assessing the fitness of Dani Ayala ahead of Saturday's Riverside clash with Ipswich Town.

The central defender has been sidelined since the 2-1 win at Blackpool due to an ankle injury, but is closing in on a return.

"I'll speak with Dani on Friday and we'll see how things are," confirmed Karanka.

Fellow defender Ryan Fredericks will miss out, though, after picking up a slight hamstring injury during last weekend's 2-1 reverse at Nottingham Forest.

Karanka also confirmed that Muzzy Carayol is continuing to make good progress following his recovery from a long-term injury, but is unlikely to figure at the weekend.