Royals' manager Jaap Stam has given an update on the fitness of his squad ahead of Saturday's trip to Middlesbrough.
While Tommy Elphick has been ruled out for six weeks, Stam said others are beginning to return to the fold as we prepare for the season's run-in.
With 16 matches still to play in the Sky Bet Championship this season, Stam hopes to have as many players available as possible for the weeks and months ahead.
“Tommy Elphick is out for a few weeks, Swifty is back not in full training sessions yet but he’s out on the pitch and doing some work with the squad," he said.
“It’s the same with Omar Richards, who’s close to joining full training sessions with the squad and that’s a very good thing.
“The rest of the squad, most of them are fit, a couple of knocks here and there but they’re okay.”
John Swift was last in action for the Royals at Hull City last month.
With the squad having a bit of extra time to recover and focus their attention on Middlesbrough this week, Stam says finding a balance with hard work on the training pitch is crucial at this stage.
“It’s quite easy for a lot of people thinking in a certain way that if you’re not winning games that you need to work harder to get results," he explained.
“Sometimes, it’s better to have an extra day of rest because you can think about things, you can set your mind to certain other things, so when you come in you’re fresh again and then you can go to hopefully get that result you need. There’s always a balance that you need to find.
“Everyone knows that you need to work hard in the position we’re in, you need to fight together as a team to get that result and that’s what we’re trying to do in every game.
“Unfortunately it’s not always working out, sometimes we can play a bit in what we want to do, but it starts with working hard and fighting in a positive way, then using your ability."
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