Veteran centre-back Jonathan Woodgate has returned to Middlesbrough training after three months out with a thigh injury.
The 34-year-old, who is club captain on Teesside, could not get into Aitor Karanka's starting lineup at the start of the season before picking up the injury in shooting practice in September.
"It was exactly like the injury that kept me out for so long in Spain," former Real Madrid man Woodgate told the club website. "The injury I had at Newcastle was also the same tendon, but there was a bit of messing about with the injury and I came back too early.
"Our medical team are fantastic and the doctor told me that it was a nasty injury so I should take my time getting fit and that's exactly what I've done.
"I've worked hard and I'm back now. I've learnt to never rush injuries because I've done that before and it keeps you out for a lot longer."
Woodgate has made 51 appearances and scored one goal for Boro since joining the club for a second time from Stoke City in 2012.