Joel Ekstrand's early exit from Watford's 1-0 win over Birmingham City last night was due to a knee injury but there was better news regarding Ikechi Anya, whose calf strain is not considered serious.

Ekstrand limped off just 18 minutes into the match at Vicarage Road and after being led down the tunnel by Hornets medical staff, he was replaced by Lloyd Doyley

After the game last night, Watford head of medical Marco Cesarini said: "Joel had a little problem with his knee and we will assess him tomorrow."

Anya meanwhile was left out of the squad completely due to a calf strain but Cesarini insisted it was not a recurrence of the injury that sidelined the winger for almost three weeks at the end of November.

Head coach Beppe Sannino was optimistic Anya would be available for Saturday's fixture against Middlesbrough but added he was pleased with the performances of Daniel Pudil and Davide Faraoni.

Cesarini said: "No [it is not a recurrence]. It was a little, little injury – it was more of a precaution than anything more serious."

Sannino added: "I hope he will ready play on Saturday but I was also happy with how Pudil and Faraoni played tonight."

Fitz Hall was also left out of the squad as a precaution. The defender has an Achilles tendon injury.