Daniel Ayala returns for Boro

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Daniel Ayala will return to the Middlesbrough squad for Saturday's Sky Bet Championship clash with Wigan.

Daniel Ayala will return to the Middlesbrough squad for Saturday’s Sky Bet Championship clash with Wigan.

The central defender missed last weekend’s 0-0 draw at Stoke through suspension after reaching five bookings for the campaign, but is available after completing his one-match ban.

Loan signing Danny Batth got the nod at the Bet365 Stadium and manager Tony Pulis has a decision to make with the pair and youngster Dael Fry all vying for a place in the starting line-up.

Full-back Ryan Shotton is closing in on his return from a knee injury, but the game could come too soon for him, while midfielder Sam McQueen faces a lengthy spell on the sidelines after damaging his cruciate ligament during the Carabao Cup victory over Crystal Palace.

Wigan boss Paul Cook will be without midfielder Sam Morsy for the trip to the Riverside Stadium.

The caution Morsy collected during the Latics’ home defeat by Leeds on Sunday was his fifth of the season and he will sit out as a result.

Fellow midfielder Nick Powell missed the Leeds game with a leg injury and he continues to be assessed, while striker Will Grigg is battling his way back from a hamstring problem.

Midfielder Gary Roberts is closing in on a return from the hamstring strain he suffered at Sheffield United in October 27.

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