Neil Warnock has set a target for Dael Fry and Marcus Tavernier to return at full tilt in pre-season, rather than risking the duo in the tail end of this campaign.

The Boro boss has already lost the likes of Marcus Browne, Anfernee Dijksteel and Sam Morsy to long-term injuries.

And while his numbers are depleted on the training ground, Warnock says he’d prefer to have players returning in better shape in the summer.

“Yesterday there were one or two not fully training and we ended up six-a-side. For Championship level we’re a bit thin on the ground,” he said.

“I spoke to the physios and medical staff yesterday, they think it’s highly unlikely that Tav would be available before the end of the season, and I don’t think Dael would be back until possibly Luton.

“I’ve said to forget all that, and make sure they’re right for July 1 and pre-season.

“Unless something happens I can’t see me using either player - why if there’s nothing at stake would I risk them.

“They’ve got a couple of months now to get back to full strength.

“That’s the kind of injuries they have, they need to have a plan and a programme to build their muscles up so we don’t get a repeat every year.”