Anton Ferdinand, Danny Williams nearing Reading returns

Anton Ferdinand and Danny Williams are nearing first-team returns for Reading, but the Royals still have a lengthy injury list ahead of the trip to Blackburn Rovers.

Anton Ferdinand and Danny Williams are close to making their first-team returns for Reading after emerging unscathed from run-outs with the Under-21s.

Central defender Ferdinand played an hour and American midfielder Williams managed 45 minutes in the fixture with Brighton & Hove Albion's youngsters on Monday.

Ferdinand has been struggling with a hamstring problem, while Williams has not played since April and is "itching" to get back on the pitch after the frustration of missing the World Cup because of a knee injury.

"I'm positive and ready," Williams told BBC Radio Berkshire. "I'm itching. Everyone that knows me knows I love football, I love to be on the pitch when the fans are screaming and shouting, it gives me an extra 10 or 20%.

"I love being on the pitch, fighting for my teammates, the whole club and I feel like a new signing.

"It's been a frustrating three months and it was more frustrating when I heard the news I had to have surgery because I missed the World Cup. I've left that behind me now, I'm looking forward to helping the team; we still have a lot of games and I want to help the team get in the playoffs."

Garath McCleary, Jem Karacan, Danny Guthrie, Aaron Tshibola and Shaun Cummings remain absent from Reading's injury-hit squad ahead of their Championship trip to Blackburn Rovers on Saturday.

Nigel Adkins manager of Reading prior to the Sky Bet Championship match between Reading and Fulham at Madejski Stadium on September 13, 2014
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