Matthew Bates horrendous injury jinx has struck again with the news he needs yet more knee surgery.
The 21-year-old has suffered cruciate ligament injuries to both knees in the last 18 months.
His loan at Norwich was seen as the final part of his battle back to full fitness, but he has now returned to Boro with a fresh knee injury which requires surgery.
Bates suffered the injury against Hull on Tuesday and Norwich hoped the injury was only minor, but scans have confirmed a disappointing prognosis.
"Matty sustained a knee injury in the game on Tuesday night. When we had it scanned early on Wednesday morning we were hoping it would only be minor damage," confirmed Norwich boss Glenn Roeder.
"Unfortunately, our worst fears were confirmed that he had sustained more than minor damage and that he would need an operation.
"It's the third time he's needed to have an operation in the last 18 months. As you can imagine, he was really enjoying his time here and was showing what a good signing he was.
"He has been assured that the operation will be a success and he will make another comeback. He gets on tremendously well with the lads and we wish him not only a speedy recovery, but a full recovery as well."
Meanwhile, one positive piece of injury news for Boro is that Tuncay Sanli is back in training.
The Turkish star suffered a hamstring strain against Wigan last month but he is now in contention to face Liverpool next week.