Church blow for Royals

Striker set to miss Lions clash through injury

Church: Set to miss Millwall clash through injury

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Reading have been dealt a blow ahead of their season opener against Millwall, with striker Simon Church set to miss out through injury.

The Wales international picked up the injury during the club's pre-season tour of Slovenia and has been sidelined since.

While the 22-year-old resumed full training this week, Royals boss Brian McDermott told skysports.com that the striker will not be ready for Saturday's clash with the Lions.

But, on a more positive note, he expects experienced midfielder Mikele Leigertwood, who has also been struggling, to be fit for this weekend.

McDermott said: "Simon won't be fit for Saturday, but we are hoping that Mikele will be able to feature against Millwall.

"Simon is back in training now, but he hasn't done enough work to be fit enough for this weekend.

"He just needs a game or two of some sort under his belt to get him match fit and then he will be available for selection, so not too far away."

Hangover period

Many sides suffer a hangover period following the defeat in the Championship play-off final, but having lost 4-2 to Swansea for a place in this season's Premier League, McDermott doesn't expect his players to fall into that trap.

"I've not seen any sign of a hangover so far, but you never can tell until it happens, but I tend to draw a line under the events of last season and look to the present," he said.

"There is nothing that I can do about what happened at Wembley now, but what I can say is that we had a fantastic season overall.

"To get into the play-off final and then be just a post-width away from getting into the Premier League because when we got back to 3-2 I felt that we should have kicked on and won it.

"We had a strange 20 minutes when we went 3-0 down, but we made it an incredible game by coming back into it and we could have won it in the end.

"However, to get into the F.A Cup quarter-finals and go to Wembley in the play-off final made it a season to remember with 40,000 of our fans cheering us on."

Former Royals defender Ibrahima Sonko has been training with the club this summer after his release from Stoke and McDermott is set to decide the 30-year-old's fate shortly.

"Well, Sonks needs games really, but I'm going to talk with him to see where we are going to go with him because we need to find a solution soon and I'm sure we will do."