Rudy Gestede's season could very well be over after the Middlesbrough star suffered a broken ankle on Tuesday.
The striker was withdrawn from the action in that victory over Hull City after he landed awkwardly, and the club's official site revealed that Gestede may not feature again this term after he was confirmed to have sustained significant damage to his ankle.
Gestede had notched a brace in the 3-1 win over the Tigers at the Riverside stadium before he picked up the problem and, with 13 matches of the current campaign to go, may not be fit in time to help Boro's hopes of a play-off push in the Championship.
Absolutely gutted to be out for the rest of the season & missing our promotion push.— Rudy Gestede (@RudyGestede) February 23, 2018
Thank you for your messages - Really appreciate it! 🙏🏾
Time to concentrate on my recovery & watch @BrittOfficials , @Patrick_Bamford & the rest of the boys fire us up the table!! #UTB 🔴🇧🇯 pic.twitter.com/31rLZasgff
Tony Pulis expressed his sadness at the news following Gestede's diagnosis, with the ex-West Brom and Crystal Palace boss explaining just how big a blow it was to lose the 29-year-old to yet another lengthy injury.
He said: “He won’t play again this season, we don’t think. It’s a massive blow for us as a football club. Out of all of the strikers, he’s looked the most likely to score in the games we’ve played.
"We’re really disappointed, but we’ve got options up there, whether it’s Patrick [Bamford] or Britt [Assombalonga], they have to step up to the plate."
Guttered for the lad! Be interesting to see which player so called fans start to boo/winge about next 🤔🤔— Lauren R Kenny (@Just_Laur_88) February 23, 2018
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Gestede had already sat out a portion of the season due to a complicated injury that required multiple surgeries, and had slowly begun to find his best form in a Boro shirt before this latest setback.
The Benin international had bagged four goals in 22 appearances in all competitions, but his latest spell on the treatment table looks set to rule him out until pre-season at the very least.
Gestede has spent the past year on Boro's books following a £6m transfer from Aston Villa.