Boro deny Bates setback

Skipper on course

Bates: Hamstring problem

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Middlesbrough have denied that captain Matthew Bates has suffered a setback in his recovery from injury.

Bates has been sidelined with a hamstring problem and it was claimed that he would be out for an extended period.

But Boro boss Tony Mowbray says he is on course to return in six-weeks which is what they originally diagnosed.

"What setback?" said Mowbray when asked.

"Matthew was always due to be out for six-to-eight weeks.

"He's two weeks into that and he's still six weeks away, so he's about where we expected him to be."

Justin Hoyte and Willo Flood have both suffered set-backs in their respective battles to return.