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Blues team news ahead of Middlesbrough match

Kristian Pedersen.
Kristian Pedersen.

Kristian has been back in training this week, Jots is back in training - he was only rested at the weekend.

Garry Monk.

Garry Monk has revealed some positive injury news ahead of Saturday's Sky Bet Championship fixture against Boro at the St. Andrew's Trillion Trophy Stadium.

Kristian Pedersen will return for the first time since mid-December, whilst Isaac Vassell could be in his first matchday squad in 14 months.

Meanwhile, Jota will be back in the matchday 18 after being rested for the FA Cup third round defeat at West Ham.

"Kristian has been back in training this week, Jots is back in training - he was only rested at the weekend," said Monk.

"Isaac Vassell need more minutes but scoring goals (for the Under-23s last weekend) will do his confidence the world of good and he has been full training this week.

"He is competitive. He still needs help and he still needs time but he is competitive, he is back in the squad and I will judge on how I think he feels, how he looks and what I think he can do to help us.

"We are delighted to have him back. He is doing very well at this moment in time; we just need to keep doing what's right by him.

"He will for sure be contributing when we need him to contribute."

Asked if it would be like having a new player in his squad, Monk continued.

"Most definitely, that's vitally important with the strength and depth of our squad; it's a huge boost for everyone - for the whole Club.

"He was very unfortunate when he first came in, started to get a bit of a head of steam then got that unfortunate injury.

"It's been a long road for him but he has come back determined and in good shape. He had done the programme that needed to be done and now he's about getting football into his legs. More minutes and without any setbacks he will go from strength to strength."

Meanwhile, long-term absentee David Davis is likely to return to full training within the next couple of weeks, with centre-half Marc Roberts expected to be back in contention ahead of the Nottingham Forest match on 2 February.

"Marc Roberts should be back training for the Nottingham Forest week," added the Blues boss.

"Getting as many of those guys back is vitally important to our squad.

"When you look at Saturday against West Ham, that was the 18 that were fit and available.

"The small squad we have we need everyone available and match fit."

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