Williams suffers another devastating injury setback

Middlesbrough has confirmed Rhys Williams has suffered another ruptured Achilles tendon but insists the injury isn’t related to the problem which kept him on the sidelines for 11 months.

The 26-year-old injury-cursed Australian went down inside the first two minutes of his return to the Boro starting XI following 11 months out in Saturday’s 2-0 FA Cup win over Barnsley.

Williams was due to undergo surgery on the Achilles on Tuesday afternoon UK time, after scans on Sunday revealed the extent of the problem.

Middlesbrough put out a club statement on Tuesday, stating: “The current rupture – where the tendon attaches to the heel – is said by medics to be extremely rare and not related to his original problem.”

The injury is likely to put Williams out of action for another lengthy spell, with Boro boss Aitor Karanka stating after the game he expected it to be “long term”.

Williams was taken off the field on a stretcher early on Saturday and later emerged from the change-rooms on crutches but looked despondent after his latest injury setback.

The Perth-born utility has previously missed two World Cups due to injury, along with two Asian Cups.

Speaking after Saturday’s game, Karanka told reporters: "It's a long term injury. We are not sure if it's exactly the same as the last injury but it's similar and that's the worst possible thing for him.

"I just want to pass on to him my best wishes."