Christie looking past injury
By Graeme Bailey. Last Updated: January 1, 1970 1:00am
Middlesbrough striker Malcolm Christie is hoping to return from injury better than ever, but he is still some way from fitness.
The former Derby County star broke his right leg in early November and he is not expected to dispense with his plaster for another four weeks.
Christie admits it has been hard watching Boro struggle in front of goal while he has been sidelined.
"I feel if I had been playing then maybe I would have a few more goals and I could have helped the club out," he told Sky Sports News.
"I am not saying if I was playing I would be topping the charts, but had I played in the nine weeks I might have scored and the club might have more points.
"The boss [Steve McClaren] has told me that there is no rush, it will take as long as it takes.
"I will work as hard as I can to get back and I hope Middlesbrough fans will see a new Malcolm Christie."
Meanwhile, Boro have been boosted by the news that Gaizka Mendieta and David Murphy are both back in training.
"That is good news for more than one reason," said coach Steve Harrison.
"He (Mendieta) was very weary before we let him return, he's not used to this type of football in this type of weather at this time of year. Over the Christmas period he's usually having Christmas pudding with his family!
"He was under the weather and he's like anyone else, when you're run down you pick things up.
"But he's back and did a bright training session yesterday, he looked very chirpy and happy so let's hope he maintains that progression for Saturday."
While Mendieta has overcome a flu bug, Murphy has returned to training for the first time this season.
The highly-rated left back was set to start the campaign instead of the suspended Franck Queudrue, but he broke his foot which forced McClaren to bring in Alan Wright.
The former Aston Villa full back has since been allowed to move on and join Sheffield United and that is mainly due to the fact that Murphy is now ready for action again.
The 19-year-old will feature for Boro's reserves against Sunderland on Tuesday evening, when Colin Cooper will take charge for the first time.