Mido all set for Boro return
Mido could make a welcome return to the Middlesbrough first team in time for the visit of Liverpool.
By Chris Burton
Last Updated: 02/01/08 3:22pm
Mido could make a welcome return to the Middlesbrough first team in time for their next Premier League fixture against Liverpool.
The Egyptian striker has not featured for Boro since October but is keen to prove his fitness in time to join up with his international counterparts at the African Cup of Nations.
It is likely that Mido will have to settle for a place on the bench for the visit of Liverpool, but his return to the squad will come as a massive boost to Gareth Southgate's stuttering side.
The former Spurs forward netted two goals in seven Premier League appearances before his injury and, despite three months out, only Stewart Downing and Tuncay have scored more times than him for Boro this season, and they only have four apiece.
"It will be a boost for the players to see Mido return," Southgate told the Evening Gazette.
"We are hoping he will have some involvement (against Liverpool).
"We are still taking things step by step with him and I don't think he will be ready to start, but his presence would strengthen the bench."
Shawky fitness worry
Mido's Egyptian colleague and Boro team-mate Mohamed Shawky will be assessed by the national side's medical team before a decision is made on whether to include him in their squad for the African Cup of Nations.
The midfielder sat out Boro's defeat to Everton on New Year's Day with a tight hamstring, but he is confident of being fit in time to make the tournament in Ghana.