Steve Coppell is contemplating using Stephen Hunt as a makeshift left-back on Sunday.
The Reading boss appears resigned to losing England international Nicky Shorey before the new season gets underway,and is being forced to look at alternatives.
Irish star Hunt usually operates as a winger and is not accustomed to life in the back four.
However, Coppell is confident that the 26-year-old would not let anyone down should he be forced to occupy an unfamiliar position against Nottingham Forest at the City Ground.
"The alternative now is for Stephen Hunt to play there," he said.
"I know he's uncomfortable there but if he continues and grows into it that would save us grief.
"I would like to stay within the squad for a solution rather than having to find someone else at the last minute."