Middlesbrough will be without suspended midfielder Rhys Williams for the clash with in-form Reading.

The Australian was sent off during Tuesday night's 2-2 draw at Derby and will sit out the game.

Full-back Kyle Naughton is being assessed after picking up a knee injury at Pride Park while Emanuel Pogatetz (knee) has returned to training but could find the game comes too early for him.

Midfielder Willo Flood could be out for the season with knee ligament damage and Jeremie Aliadiere (broken toe) is also on the long-term casualty list.

Tony McMahon (foot), Seb Hines (ankle/knee) and Matthew Bates (cruciate) are still out.

Reading manager Brian McDermott can choose from a settled squad ahead of the trip to Teesside.

McDermott's side wrapped up a run of five home games in a row with a 1-0 win over QPR on Tuesday night and have moved away from danger at the wrong end of the Championship table.

Indeed, a win at the Riverside could see the Royals leapfrog Boro and a late play-off push is not beyond the realms of fantasy yet.

Midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson made it 13 goals for the season with a penalty against QPR and he will continue to operate off a central striker.

Shane Long has started in that role for the past two games but failed to score so could be replaced by Simon Church or Grzegorz Rasiak.

McDermott remains without Noel Hunt (knee), Chris Armstrong (knee), Jem Karacan (hand) and Kalifa Cisse (thigh).

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