Northampton Town boss Stuart Gray has moved to alleviate a potential injury crisis at Sixfields by snapping up Reading's teenage defender Alex Pearce on a month's loan.
The Cobblers have signed the 18-year-old Scot, who has made one substitute appearance for the Royals, on a temporary basis under the emergency loan rules.
"We currently have Chris Doig, Sean Dyche, Pedj Bojic, Fred Murray and Brett Johnson all out or struggling from a defensive point of view," Gray told the club's official website.
"You can add to that midfielder Joe Burnell and we are short on numbers.
"Alex is a good young defender who will help us out over the next few weeks. He has a good pedigree and has been away with the Scotland Under-19 squad this week."