Rhys Williams’ Middlesbrough club boss Aitor Karanka says he has no intention of rushing the injury-prone Socceroo back into the starting XI.
Williams made his long-awaited return to Boro first team action on Boxing Day when he was a 90th minute substitute in the 3-0 win over Nottingham Forest.
The game was the Australian’s first appearance in 11 months, after rupturing an Achilles tendon in January.
Williams, who was part of Socceroos boss Ange Postecoglou’s provisional 46-man Asian Cup squad, was left out of Boro’s 0-0 draw with Blackburn on Sunday.
"It was very important for him to play again," Karanka explained to the Evening Gazette.
"He’s been out for 11 months and I put him in the squad on Boxing Day thinking about bringing him on if we were in a good position.
"He was on the bench and we had an opportunity to give him five minutes.
“He’s working really well on the training ground but he can’t forget he has been out for 11 months."
Williams has a horror history of injury problems, including a pelvic problem which kept him out of the 2010 World Cup and 2011 Asian Cup.comments