Middlesbrough’s Gaizka Mendieta believes he has a good chance of playing again this season.

The 30-year-old former Spoanish international damaged his cruciate ligament in October and was not expected to play again this season.

However, his recovery has gone better than expected and a return in the next two months is a possibility.

“I would like to play this season, but it is too early to say. There is no point trying to play again until the knee is perfect.”

“There is a long way to go to be fit again, but the doctors and the physios say that it is going well and I have to keep working very hard.”

“It has been the worst injury of my career,” he added.

“At the moment it happened, I felt that something was broken.

“They told me the next day that it was the cruciate and that is when I realised what it would mean to me.”