Reading manager Brendan Rodgers could welcome Simon Church back to the fold for Scunthorpe's trip to the Madejski Stadium.

Wales international Church missed the Royals' 4-2 home defeat to Crystal Palace on Tuesday evening with a back injury.

The 20-year-old received the knock last weekend but is now back in contention for a starting berth.

However, fellow striker Shane Long will be missing for the match as he serves the third and final game of his suspension.

Long was sent off for lunging at Derby defender Fredrik Stoor during Reading's 2-1 home defeat at the end of November.

Boss Rodgers will also be without long-term absentees Noel Hunt (knee) and Brian Howard, who broke his jaw during the Derby match.

Scunthorpe United

Scunthorpe will be without goalkeeper Joe Murphy through suspension.

Murphy picked up his fifth yellow card of the season in Wednesday night's 1-1 draw at Barnsley so on-loan Josh Lillis will deputise.

Midfielders Martyn Woolford (cut foot) and Michael O'Connor (dead leg) missed the game at Oakwell and remain doubts. Garry Thompson and Sam Togwell could keep their places after performing admirably in their absence.

Defenders Marcus Williams (concussion) and George Friend (facial injury) were substituted during the Barnsley match so Andrew Wright could stand in at left-back.

Ben May (ankle) and Kenny Milne (knee) remain absent.

It is the first time these two sides have met at the Madejski Stadium since 1999 when points were shared in a 1-1 draw.

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