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No returning Rovers for Reading road trip

Joe Rankin-Costello and Bradley Johnson are edging closer to a return, but won't feature against the Royals

1 March 2021

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Tony Mowbray has revealed that Joe Rankin-Costello and Bradley Johnson aren't yet ready to feature in the first team against Reading on Tuesday night.

A hamstring injury picked up against Middlesbrough back at the end of January has kept Johnson out of action since, whilst Rankin-Costello hasn't played under Mowbray since his own hamstring problem at Luton Town in November.

Rankin-Costello has featured in the last two Development Squad games against West Ham United and Tottenham Hotspur, but Mowbray has admitted that he won't be rushing the pair back.

“We’ve got Rankin-Costello back on the grass and he’s played a couple of recent Under-23s games," the boss told iFollow Rovers.

“But we’ve had discussions with the medical department and we’re probably going to keep him here and give him some training days.

“Bradley Johnson probably fits into the same category as that, but he might have half a chance for the weekend against Millwall.

“Although Bradley does have his boots on, he, like Joe, probably hasn’t done enough to be put straight back in.

“They both need that match sharpness, it’s not just about how much running you do on the treadmill, you need matches to get yourself up to speed.”

Elsewhere, Mowbray also confirmed that both Daniel Ayala and Lewis Holtby aren't yet ready to feature either.

"Ayala and Holtby aren't close enough, but they will get fazed back in.

"Daniel and Lewis aren't yet in the picture."

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