Reading manager Brian McDermott is sweating over the fitness of several key first-team players for the clash with Bristol City.
McDermott has doubts over captain Jobi McAnuff (groin) and midfielder Mikele Leigertwood (thigh), although defender Andy Griffin, who has sat out the Royals' last four matches with an Achilles injury, could be fit for the match.
Forward Mathieu Manset is also classed as a major doubt after tweaking his hamstring in a reserve-team match and winger Jimmy Kebe is in the process of recovering from a knee niggle.
New signing Karl Sheppard has not played since December 15 and may not yet be ready for consideration as Reading look to bounce back from last Saturday's 1-0 home defeat to Hull.
However, Jason Roberts and Tomasz Cywka could both make their debuts after arriving from Blackburn and Derby respectively on Thursday.
Bristol City will be without midfielder Marvin Elliott.
Elliott is still struggling with the hamstring injury he picked up during the 1-0 victory over Millwall at Ashton Gate on January 3 and will not be available to manager Derek McInnes against the Royals.
McInnes will also be missing captain Liam Fontaine, who continues his recovery from a knee injury, and Ryan Taylor (foot) for the fixture.
However, full-back Cole Skuse could feature after shrugging off the after-effects of a dead leg sustained in the 2-1 win over Doncaster last weekend.
Striker David Clarkson will not be involved after picking up an ankle problem in training which the club say will keep him out of action for "the foreseeable future".