Date: 14th November 2012 at 1:24pm
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Cardiff City midfielder Stephen McPhail may be in line for a long-awaited recall to the matchday squad when high flying Middlesbrough visit CCS on Saturday. A string of injury woes have hit the Bluebirds and youngster Joe Ralls was called into action from the bench on Saturday – his first Championship football since August.

Jordon Mutch is the midfield lynchpin who would ordinarily have partnered Peter Whittingham, but he has been missing for months now with a foot problem. He is back training, but we await news as to when he might return. Don Cowie’s withdrawal was also a blow – and he may yet miss the next couple of games. Bellamy and Tommy Smith are more midfielders who are out injured while the 2-1 victory over Hull City saw substitute Filip Kiss himself taken off at half-time. Some say he picked up a hamstring problem, others that he was just poor – either way, his position and future are in short term doubt at least.

Ralls did a good job, but Stephen McPhail is chomping at the bit to return after illness and a hamstring injury wrecked pre-season and his opportunities so far. He now has several weeks training behind him and has benefitted from the development games – gaining a valuable 90 minutes during last night’s 2-1 victory over Swansea City.

McPhail is vastly experienced, technically very good and has already spoken of his determination to win an extension to his current contract. He may well be considered fit enough by Malky Mackay to take up a place on the bench on Saturday – Malky is a huge admirer of McPhail’s ability and attitude and would love to have a fully fit McPhail available for selection.