Reading FC have been handed a mixed dose of injury news ahead of Saturday’s clash with Millwall at the Select Car Leasing Stadium.

Centre-back Tom Holmes could be back in contention to start for Paul Ince’s side but Josh Laurent will still be out for the next few weeks while goalkeeper Karl Hein could miss the rest of the season after having surgery to repair a torn ligament in his thumb.

Speaking on Thursday afternoon at Reading’s Bearwood training base, Ince gave updates on some of his injured players.

“He’s been training this week, he trained last week,” the 54-year old said of Scott Dann. “Obviously he hasn’t played for six-seven weeks now but he’s coming back into the frame which is a big bonus for us. He’s so important for us not just in the way he plays but in his leadership qualities and he knows the game.

"He might be ok for the bench on Saturday but he’s pushing for a start that’s for sure maybe next week or the week after so that’s good news.

Royal Borough Observer: Scott Dann suffered a hamstring injury against Fulham. Image by: JasonPIXScott Dann suffered a hamstring injury against Fulham. Image by: JasonPIX

“Tom Holmes trained today so he looks ok. We weren’t sure if he was going to train but he trained a full session today, looked good and sharp so he’ll be in contention for Saturday.”

“We’ve got the be careful with Josh (Laurent). I’m gauged by the physio and the sports so they tell me when he’s to be ready and when he’s not to be ready- something I’m not really used to. If somebody had said to me I couldn’t play because of this or that I’d have said ‘sod that I’m playing.

“But now you’ve got to speak to all these people first and make sure Josh is 100% ready to play because he’s a fantastic player and watching him out doing running today, he’s strong and powerful, someone you need in the middle of the park, but he’s a bit of a way off yet so two or three weeks probably.”

Meanwhile, the news on goalkeeper Karl Hein, who suffered a thumb injury after slipping at home, is far more pessimistic.

“I think according to Matt (physio) he had surgery yesterday. They’re talking seven weeks. Which is a blow.

“I wouldn’t know, I’ll have to speak to Matt. Obviously since he’s on loan from Arsenal, Arsenal will take care of him. Matt the physio will know more than me whether it’s seven or eight weeks but that’s more or less the rest of the season. Which is a blow really because he’s done well, the kid. But listen, we got with what we’ve got. Luke’s got enough experience, he’s played 21 times this year. So we go with what we’ve got.”

Ince has overseen two games thus far as Reading’s interim boss, starting off with a win against Birmingham before last Saturday’s 4-1 defeat at Blackpool.