Reading captain Jem Karacan is nearing a first-team comeback after a 16-month injury nightmare.The 25-year-old midfielder, who has been sidelined since September 2013 due to a knee problem, played 45 minutes for the Royals' Under-21 side against West Brom on Tuesday.
Karacan now has his sights set on a first-team return, starting against Middlesbrough on Saturday.
He told the club website: "It's amazing to be back involved with the boys - I have missed it every day for the last 16 months. You miss everything; the banter with the lads, the away trips, getting ready for games and the adrenaline rush you get.
"It's brilliant to be back involved and training every day. I'm feeling stronger as each day comes and hopefully I can be involved against Middlesbrough on Saturday.
"I want to be back in the frame now. I'll look to be making my comeback on Saturday and there will be no better feeling than running out at the Madejski Stadium in front of the fans. I've missed that place a lot."