JAAP STAM says Callum Harriott has suffered another setback on his comeback from injury.
The winger has been on the sidelines for over a year since pulling his hamstring playing against Fulham in December 2016, a match which was later postponed due to heavy fog.
Harriott, 23, was one of the first men signed by Stam and has been on the brink of a return on more than one occasion, only to break down again.
But the Reading boss is hoping there is now some light at the end of the tunnel.
“Callum had a slight setback again a couple of weeks ago,” said Stam.
“It’s not that he damaged his tendon again but he felt it a little bit.
“It’s not as bad as how it was a couple of months ago, but it’s something we need to be cautious of basically.
“He was feeling very well until a couple of weeks ago.
“He was very close to making his minutes in the Under-23s and then in one training session he did a couple of small games.
“In the session nothing happened and then in the evening he felt his hamstring.
“They go to the doctor again, they have a scan, didn’t see any damage on there so that was a very positive thing but he still felt something.
“They are looking into it now and what that can be, but I don’t think it’s going to be long before he’s going to be making his minutes in the U23s.”
He added: “It’s frustrating for him to be out for such a long time, almost being back into training sessions with the squad and then getting the same injury back again.
“Then to do a lot of work to get very close again and then when he was joining in with the team in the last couple of weeks he looked very promising, very good, very sharp and fit.
“When he felt that way as well and he’s very close to playing in the U23s or maybe even joining with the squad and again feeling something, that’s of course a very big disappointment for him and for us as well.”
Stam also offered an update on two more men plagued by injuries over the last couple of years.
Joseph Mendes made an impact on the first team during the back end of last season while Stephen Quinn featured in the first two rounds of this year’s Carabao Cup back in August.
But it’s now been over four months since either played for the first team.
“It’s going to take quite a long time because he still feels his knee,” said Stam when asked about Quinn’s injury.
“It’s not feeling very good to be honest.
“Stephen needs to think about what can happen and what he needs to do and also what we need to do as a club and what we can still do to help Stephen out to get back to playing.”
He added: “Joseph is feeling a lot better than how he was in the last couple of months so that’s looking promising.
“But he’s still not out on the pitch so that’s probably going to take another couple of weeks before he’s going to be involved.”
Reading host Stevenage in the FA Cup third round replay tonight (8pm).