JAAP Stam is ruing the absence of playmaker John Swift when Reading FC host Barnsley FC at Madejski Stadium tonight.

The young midfielder will be out of action for a number of weeks after suffering yet another hamstring injury during Royals' 2-2 draw with Bolton Wanderers last Tuesday.

Royals have the chance to close the gap on teams above them in the Championship table with a win against the Tykes after the original fixture was moved earlier in the season.

But boss Stam insisted Swift will not be play a part against Paul Heckingbottom's side.

"It's not that bad that he's going to be out for months but we need to be careful," he declared.

"He was feeling very fit and very well before the Bolton game

"He said it himself, he was really up for it, he was in very good shape.

"But there was that one moment where he overstretched.

"You always wonder how it's possible but basically we can't find an answer as to why it happens.

"When he overstretches he feels it pull a bit more."

Stam will be boosted however by the returns of Yann Kermorgant and Liam Kelly, who both played more than 60 minutes against Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday afternoon.

Jon Dadi Bodvarsson is available selection despite lacking match sharpness while Garath McCleary, Stephen Quinn, Jordan Obita, Joseph Mendes, Callum Harriott and George Evans remain sidelined.

Young striker Sam Smith has stepped up his recovery after picking up an injury against Nottingham Forest but will be out until the new year.

Speaking about the Tykes, Stam added: "They played earlier on Saturday so we had a little look at them, as well as the previous games they've played.

"They're a side with a lot of quality in the team, they work very hard, have ability on the ball as well as movement and pace up front.

"We know what they can do, so we need to focus ourselves, prepare well, and hopefully we can do well on Tuesday."