Big Birmingham City injury boost likely too soon for Reading as hosts sweat on Andy Carroll fitness
A trip to Reading may come too soon for Troy Deeney and Dion Sanderson but it’s positive news for the Birmingham City stars ahead of the run-in.
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Birmingham City will look to make a dismal week for Reading FC even poorer on their visit to the Select Car Leading Stadium on Good Friday.
The Royals were docked six points on Tuesday for breaching the terms of an agreed business plan for a previous profit and sustainability rule breach.
It leaves Paul Ince and his side just one point above the relegation zone as Birmingham come to town.
Here's the latest injury news from both teams.
Birmingham injury boost but Reading likely too soon for duo
The trip to Reading will come a few days too early for Troy Deeney who has missed the side's last seven fixtures due to injury.
The charismatic striker is "close" to training with the team again with John Eustace hopeful to have the star back next week.
Meanwhile, defender Dion Sanderson is more likely to feature against Reading but is still racing against time to make his first appearance since February.
Eustace said: "Troy is really close to joining back in training now, I think possibly next week he'll have him joining back in. It'll obviously be a massive plus to have him back - he's a great character to really help the boys through the end of the season. That'll be a big plus to get him back.
"I hope that Dion will be back with us tomorrow, with the group. That'll be a massive plus for us, he's obviously missed a really important part of the season, but his influence and the way he is throughout the first half of the season was different class, and you could see that.
"I'm hoping that he'll be back with us by the end of the week, and hopefully he'll be back in training at some point next week."
Andy Carroll and Tom Ince injury woes for Reading FC
A turbulent week and renewed relegation threat for Reading aren't helped by a side plagued by injury.
Paul Ince said that Andy Carroll, who has a goal and assist in his last two, is a "doubt" for the visit of Birmingham City with fellow forward Yakou Meite "is 50/50". Lucas Joao is set to lead the line after his vital goal against Bristol City last week with Ince hinting that Carroll and Meite may have roles to play from the bench.
Experienced centre-back Scott Dann is in contention to return from injury at the Select Car Leasing Stadium on Friday.
Playmaker Tom Ince picked up an injury over the international break and won't feature against Birmingham with fears he may miss the rest of the season.
The manager said: "Meite rolled his ankle against Bristol City. Carroll has not trained all week because of a hernia or muscle problem which is causing him so much grief at the moment. He just wants to play, wants to fight, though. Dann trained on Wednesday for the first time.
"Thomas [Ince] saw a specialist on Tuesday night. He is going to have another week off and will have another scan and have some injections in his thigh but I don't know [when he will be back]. In an ideal world, it'd be good to get him back for the last two games but you just don't know."
The winger joins a worrying list of Royals long-term absentees alongside Sam Hutchinson, Baba Rahman, Ovie Ejaria, Tom McIntyre, Liam Moore, Junior Hoilett and Shane Long.
Mamadou Loum will miss out as he serves the last of his three-match suspension for a red card against Blackburn last month.