McDermott gives fitness update ahead of BoltonA bulk of the Reading team were out representing their countries over the long Easter weekend; with a varied schedule, that means that the players are returning to Hogwood in dribs and drabs this week ahead of the visit to Bolton this weekend.
Ali Al-Habsi (Oman), Garath McCleary and Michael Hector (Jamaica), Stephen Quinn and Paul McShane (Ireland) and Matej Vydra (Czech Republic) were all on duty as late as Tuesday and were yet to rejoin the group on Wednesday. Latvian striker Deniss Rakels was unable to represent his country after picking up an injury, and likewise Hal Robson-Kanu wasn’t able to link up with Reading teammate Chris Gunter for the Wales squad.
Manager Brian McDermott gave an update on the availability of his players going into the weekend’s game.
“Our physios and the fitness guys have been talking to the guys that have been away – we want to get them all back safely; that’s the most important thing,” said McDermott.
“It sounds like Michael Hector has a bit of a knock from last night’s game [against Costa Rica]; Matej Vydra scored last night and came off after 70 minutes so hopefully he will be okay.
“I have just seen Chris Gunter and Oliver Norwood and there’s no problems with them. And I gather that everyone else should come back in good shape.
“Hal Robson-Kanu still isn’t fit however, and Deniss Rakels won’t be available for the weekend.”
With eight games to come in a fixture-packed April, the manager took advantage of the down-time to take a look at some Reading players in other colours.
“I went to four games in four days – that included seeing Dominic Samuel play at Bury for Gillingham and Jake Cooper playing for England Under-20s,” continued the manager. “I’ve spent a lot of time watching football and training; our scouts have also been out watching our loan players play.
“It gave us an opportunity; we won’t have many more opportunities to do anything but train and play, because we’ve got so many games coming up in a short space of time.”