George Williams could make his first start for Barnsley with Joe Dudgeon (knee) and James Bree (unspecified) both struggling for fitness, while striker Sam Winnall is continuing his rehabilitation following a hamstring problem.
Goalkeeper Ross Turnbull is back in contention following suspension and boss Danny Wilson must decide whether to recall him or retain Adam Davies.
Striker Patrick Bamford will be included in the Boro squad after extending his loan spell to the end of the season. Boss Aitor Karanka also has no fresh injury concerns, although Emilio Nsue is due to meet up with Equatorial Guinea ahead of the African Nations Cup.
Ryan Fredericks (thigh), Muzzy Carayol (knee) and Damia Abella (knee) remain out.
Top scorers (all competitions): Conor Hourihane (Barnsley) 11; Grant Leadbitter (Middlesbrough) 11
Match odds: H 12-5 A 10-11 D 9-4
Referee: Dean Whitestone (Northamptonshire)