Rudy Gestede has been ruled out of a possible reunion with Rovers after picking up a hamstring injury.

The striker was substituted on the hour mark of Tuesday’s Carabao Cup defeat to Crewe having come off the bench in last weekend’s home defeat to Brentford.

The 30-year-old has scored just four league goals in two-and-a-half years for Boro having failed to rediscover the form which saw him average a goal every two games during his time at Ewood Park.

But ruling Gestede, and full back Hayden Coulson out of the Ewood Park trip, boss Jonathan Woodgate said: “Rudy Gestede has got bilateral hamstring tightness, so he will be getting an epidural.

“Hayden Coulson has a bit of a knock and could be struggling too.”

Gestede signed for Rovers on loan in November 2013 before the move was made permanent in the following January.

In all he scored 35 goals in 70 appearances which prompted Aston Villa to splash out £6m in July 2015, the same amount Boro spent on him in January 2017.

There was better news on Dael Fry, though not in time for this weekend’s game, with the England youth international set to play for Boro Under-23s against Stoke City tomorrow night as he continues his comeback from a hamstring injury.

Woodgate is still to win any of this opening three games since replacing Tony Pulis, but said: “I know I’ve got 80 or 90 per cent of the fans behind me.

“I’ve got a thick skin and I’ll need it.

“There are some who didn’t want me but to be honest I don’t care about that.”