Reading FC dealt Kebe injury blow
Published: 8 Mar 2013 14:300 comments
Royals' flying winger damaged his groin during his side's 3-1 defeat at Everton on Saturday.
Reading are optimistic for a quick recovery, but sources say Kebe has not trained all week and is likely to be out for around a fortnight, meaning he will miss tomorrow's vital home game against Aston Villa and possibly the trip to Manchester United a week later.
The news is a major setback for manager Brian McDermott who can ill afford to lose his most creative player at this stage of the season.
McDermott has further selection worries on top, with Jason Roberts nursing a hip problem and fellow striker Pavel Pogrebnyak about to serve the second of his three-match ban.
Goalkeeper Adam Federici also faces a race against time to face Aston Villa having sustained a painful foot injury in training.
Federici, 28, missed the defeat at Everton, and, with Alex McCarthy recovering from shoulder surgery, Stuart Taylor stepped in for his first Premier League appearance in five years.
The ex-Arsenal and Manchester City stopper is now on standby should Federici fail to make this Saturday's squad.
McDermott said: "It's not easy when you haven't played for a long time. But, like all my players, Stuart's attitude is spot on."
Aston Villa, meanwhile, will be boosted by news that leading scorer Christian Benteke will be available to face Reading.
The Villa striker picked up his fifth booking of the season in their 1-0 home defeat by Manchester City on Monday.
But FA regulations mean Benteke is outside the cut-off date for an automatic ban as only players who collect five bookings before December 31 incur a one-match suspension.
However, should Benteke reach 10 bookings by the second Sunday in April, he will then receive a two-match ban.
Fabian Delph has fallen foul of that rule and will miss the clash against the Royals plus Villa's fixture against basement boys QPR after picking up 10 yellow cards.
READING FC star Brynjar Gunnarsson has ended his eight-year association with the club.
The 37-year-old has returned to Iceland to take on a player-coach role at Reykjavik FC, where he began his career back in 1995.
Gunnarsson made 163 appearances for the Royals, scoring 10 goals. His cv includes a pair of Championship titles with Reading in 2006 and 2012.
Meanwhile, Reading FC defender Stephen Kelly has been named in a provisional Republic of Ireland squad for the World Cup qualifiers against Sweden and Austria.
Kelly, 29, fell out with manager Giovanni Trapattoni last month when he reacted angrily after the Italian questioned his international commitment.