Middlesbrough boss Mowbray hopes for McDonald return

Middlesbrough boss Tony Mowbray says Scott McDonald could still feature this season despite missing Monday's 2-1 win against Coventry through injury.

The 27-year-old striker was withdrawn from Saturday's 4-2 victory at Hull with a hamstring problem after netting a hat-trick for the Teessiders.

"I'm not ruling him out, normally with a hamstring you rule a player out for a few weeks," Mowbray told BBC Tees.

"Scott's desperate to get back, we hope he can still have some involvement."

Mowbray added: "If he isn't able to come back, it's not a bad way for him to end the season with his hat-trick."

Injuries have also affected Middlesbrough's neighbours Sunderland, who lost Danny Welback and Asamoah Gyan to similar muscle problems in Saturday's 4-2 win against Wigan Athletic.

"The Sunderland players were dropping like flies with hamstrings," Mowbray added.

"It's the stage of the season, it's intensity of the modern game, it's the pitches, it's the weather, everything thrown in together and the players are feeling it.

"Andrew Davies comes off with a hamstring today, a boy who probably hasn't played enough football, and yet the intensity of the game catches him out and he tweaks a hamstring."