The defender had featured in Boro’s away game at QPR earlier this month, but this latest setback will see the club captain ruled out until into the new year.

Jonathan Woodgate revealed the extent of the injury in his media conference on Tuesday.

“We took our time with George but it was a snowball effect, and in a sense it was unavoidable because of that, Woodgate said.

“George is hugely disappointed, but he’ll still be here every day with the players, giving it his all.

“He’s a positive lad, and it’s more mental than physical, the aspect that you have to get right at this stage of recovery.

“But looking on the bright side, it’s an opportunity for someone else, Jonny Howson was there on the right hand side of the defence on Sunday and I thought he was outstanding. He’s a very clever player.”

Woodgate has other selection quandaries for tomorrow’s visit of Barnsley, adding to the suspensions of George Saville and Marvin Johnson.

“Rudy Gestede is out, Ryan Shotton is out and Marcus Browne is out. Darren Randolph is 50-50, he’s been carrying a thigh strain for a number of weeks now.”