Reading will be without Glen Little for up to six months after the winger was told he requires surgery on an Achilles injury.
The 31-year-old wideman has not made an appearance for the Royals this season and has now been told he must go under the knife in a bid to cure an Achilles tear.
Little has made over 100 appearances since joining Reading in 2004 from Burnley.
"Glen and I recently saw a specialist in Achilles management problems," physio Jon Fearn told the club's official website.
"He thinks that what we may have is a small tear in the tendon that has not responded to the treatment we have given him.
"That can happen in some cases, so the next stage is to go into the tendon and cut out the damaged tissue.
"Then we have to wait for the tendon to heal. Tendon takes twice as long as muscle, so we're looking at probably four to six months recovery time.
"That will still leave some time toward the latter part of the season."
Meanwhile, the Royals also look set to be without Kalifa Cisse until the end of November after the midfielder was told he requires surgery on a knee cartilage problem.