Coppell to take time with Kitson

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Steve Coppell insists he will be 'very protective' of Dave Kitson after the Reading striker made his comeback against Burnley.

Kitson had been sidelined since the opening day of the season after hurting his knee in the 3-2 success over Middlesbrough.

He then suffered a hamstring injury when nearing a return to action before requiring an emergency appendix operation.

But he was back in the Reading squad for Tuesday's rescheduled FA Cup third round tie with Burnley and appeared for the closing half-hour.

Coppell was pleased with the forward's outing, but the Royals boss is determined not to rush Kitson back into the starting line-up.

"Kits came on for half an hour and you saw things that were delightful," Coppell told the club's official website.

"We'll still stage his comeback though, we're very protective of him.

"We won't put a time on it, you'll just sense it in the way he plays.

"In terms of physicality he was there, but we certainly won't put a heavy burden on him until he's ready."

Coppell gave many of his fringe players a run-out against Burnley and he was satisfied with the outcome in setting up a fourth round trip to Birmingham or Newcastle.

He told Sky Sports News: "We made a lot of changes, but the priority was still to win the game and get through to the next round.

"I'm delighted a lot of good things came from the game. There were a lot of things to think about and improve, but I'm happy to be through."