Middlesbrough have been boosted by the news that Didier Digard has returned to training, but captain Emanuel Pogatetz has been sidelined.
Digard had earlier declared that he would not be fit to play again this season after being sidelined in February with knee and groin injuries.
But after a bout of rehabilitation at the French academy in Clairefontaine, Digard has progressed quicker than expected and the 22-year-old should return to full training in two weeks, enabling him to play before the season's end.
Chris Riggott is also back in training following a medial ligament injury and he could be back in the squad for the match with Hull this weekend, as could Adam Johnson who missed the defeat at Bolton last week with a minor knock.
However, skipper Pogatetz will not be involved this weekend.
He limped off against Bolton with a knee injury and Boro are continuing to assess the problem, but have confirmed he will not play against Hull.