Sheffield Wednesday skipper Darren Purse is expected to return to the squad for the home match with Reading.

Purse, a free summer signing from Cardiff, did not make the bench in last week's 4-0 home defeat to West Brom but may even be recalled to the starting line-up as manager Brian Laws ponders his most effective back four.

Fellow central defender Mark Beevers, who started among the substitutes last week, could also return.

Laws could hand a first start to Tom Soares, who arrived on loan from Stoke in time to step off the bench against the Baggies, while Warren Feeney, on loan from Cardiff, is hoping to make his first appearance.

The Owls have no new injury or suspension problems but midfielder Tommy Miller (hamstring) and striker Francis Jeffers (ankle) are still out.

Reading will be without Shane Long and Brian Howard at Hillsborough as they look to climb above the Owls with a win.

Long begins a three-match ban after he was sent off at Derby last weekend while Howard is starting a six-week lay-off after breaking his jaw in the 2-1 defeat at Pride Park.

Kalifa Cisse, Brynjar Gunnarsson and Jem Karacan are all in the running to replace the stricken Howard in midfield.

Gylfi Sigurdsson signed a new contract this week and after scoring in the last two games will keep his place.

Noel Hunt remains out for the foreseeable future with a knee problem but left-back Chris Armstrong is close to a return to fitness after a knee injury of his own.

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