Bristol City v Reading injury latest as 14 ruled out and 4 doubts

Bristol City host Reading at Ashton Gate in their first Championship game back since the international break.

Nigel Pearson and Paul Ince are both set to be without several players when Bristol City and Reading meet in the EFL Championship at Ashton Gate.

The Robins are set to welcome more than 20,000 fans in their first game back after the international break but have been dealt a blow with the suspension of Mark Sykes. The Republic of Ireland international has been banned for four games in an incident against Swansea City, ruling him out for half of the eight league matches left of the campaign.

“It’s a very annoying occurrence for us,” said Pearson to the club’s official media channel Robin TV. “For me, it just highlights the inconsistencies that we have to endure.”

It’s been ten days since the defeat to Swansea, and that has allowed time for injured players to recover without missing any fixtures. Tommy Conway, who has been sidelined since January has been in a ‘really good place’ for the last two to three weeks and is in contention to return. Matty James, who suffered a knock to his ankle against Huddersfield, is expected to be available for team selection, though both may have to settle for a place on the bench.

Kal Naismith, who has been out with a calf problem since early February, is ‘making good progress’ whilst Tomas Kalas is ‘back out on the grass’. It will be another week before Naismith can come in to consideration but is back on the training pitches, as is the Czech Republic international Kalas.

Star boy Alex Scott will not feature after suffering a knee injury on Mondaywhilst on international duty. He started two of the Three Lions matches, and went in for a 50/50 challenge, which required treatment from the medical staff. He tried to run it off and continue and has since returned to the HPC, where he has been assessed.

When asked how severe Scott’s injury is in his pre-match conference, Pearson said: “It’s a minor knee ligament injury but I don’t know what the time frame we’d put on that at the moment. It’s a bit unfortunate for us and certainly, for him, we’ll see.”

Ayman Benarous, Joe Williams and Rob Atkinson meanwhile are out for the season, with Benarous not playing a competitive minute of football this year. Atkinson and Williams suffered their injuries in February and May, with Atkinson’s problem set to continue over to the 2023/4 campaign.

As for the visitors Reading, they could be without 12 players for their trip to the West Country with Andy Carroll, Scott Dann and Tom Ince providing a selection headache for Paul Ince. Dann and Ince Jr have been described as ‘major doubts’ whilst former Newcastle United striker Carroll is ‘touch and go’ with a groin problem.

Ireland international Shane Long is to miss the rest of the campaign with a hamstring injury and may have played his last game for the club. Former Liverpool youngster Ovie Ejaria is undergoing surgery and is to miss the rest of the season, and is the last player to be ruled out for the remainer of the campaign.

Defensive duo Liam Moore and Tom McIntyre have unknown return dates with foot and hamstring injuries respectively. McIntyre is expected to miss the rest of the season.  Sam Hutchinson has been missing since January and may not return, and the same can be said for Dejan Tetek. Winger Junior Hoilett sustained a hamstring injury in training and will be absent for the next six to eight weeks. The Canadian international could make their last match of the season.

Yakou Meite is hopeful to ‘be fit for this weekend’ but has spent the last month out with an injury that has been unspecified. Baba Rahman has missed the last seven matches and his season could be done. Reading, like City also have a player out with suspension with Mamadou Loum serving the second of his three-match ban for an alleged headbutt against Blackburn Rovers.