Boro striker to miss out

McDonald to sit out end of the season

McDonald: Injured

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Middlesbrough's top-scorer Scott McDonald looks set to miss their final matches of the season.

The Australian international has been in splendid form in recent weeks playing a major part in securing Boro's place in the Championship.

McDonald hit a hat-trick over the weekend at Hull City, but he tweaked his hamstring - which now looks to have ended his campaign a few weeks early.

"It's a blow for Scott because he has been playing very well lately and scoring goals for us," said Boro boss Tony Mowbray.

"But we've got Leroy Lita working his way back now to full fitness and hopefully he can carry on where Scott has left off."

Another new face

One player hoping to be involved over the last few matches is another of the club's academy products Ben Gibson - nephew of the club's owner Steve.

Gibson came on just before half-time against Coventry on Easter Monday and helped Boro claim a 2-1 win.

And Mowbray was delighted with his debut, saying: "He is a real man for 18. He's got a real strong personality, he's got a lot of character about him.

"I wanted to take the opportunity to show him how impressed we all are with the way he goes about his business on a daily basis around the football club.

"He's been very solid around the reserves and during the FA Youth Cup run. Does it come much harder than Clive Platt, the Coventry striker for him? A very wily 36-year-old who looks about 6 ft 10in? Ben stuck to his task, he stuck to his job and was in a team that won the football match on his debut."

Arca

Meanwhile, Mowbray also reaffirmed that the club would be offering new - reduced terms - to Argentine midfielder Julio Arca, who scored in the wins over both Hull and Coventry."

"Julio has got great quality and we've talked long and hard, he's out of contract. He knows our financial predicament, he knows where we are - he will have decisions to make in the summer," said the Boro chief.

"He knows we'd love to keep him - that's common knowledge. Our offer will be what it is though and I'm sure he'll have financially better offers. He has decisions to make about his life and his family and what's right for Julio Arca."

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