READING FC boss Jaap Stam is facing a mounting injury problem ahead of Saturday’s trip to Leeds United (3pm ko).

Callum Harriott has suffered a setback with his recovery from a long-standing hamstring injury while Joseph Mendes faces months on the sidelines following knee surgery.

To add to Stam’s woes, Stephen Quinn is no closer regaining hit fitness as he continues his battle with a knee issue, while Jordan Obita has been ruled out for the rest of the season following a major knee operation.

In addition, last season’s 19-goal top scorer Yann Kermorgant remains unavailable following hip and groin surgery during the summer, while midfield ace John Swift is still recovering from a double hamstring problem.

It means Stam’s resources are being stretched to the limit at a time when Royals are in a run of poor form after no wins in their last five Championship matches leaves them 20th in the table.

However, Stam insisted: “We’re not blaming injuries, but we’ve had a bad run. Hopefully we can get out if it very soon.

“We’re not using injuries as an excuse. When someone is injured other players need to step up and show themselves. That’s how football works.

“The squad is what it is and hopefully we can get it as big as possible when players come back.”

Obita damaged his anterior cruciate ligament in his knee after a freak accident at the end of a 1-1 home draw with Hull on September 23.

The 23-year-old slid off the Madejski Stadium pitch and onto the running track before being stretchered off and underwent reconstructive knee surgery earlier this week, with 19-year-old Omar Richards set to take his place for the weekend’s clash at Elland Road.

Reading Chronicle:

Jordan Obita is stretchered off the pitch following a freak injury that left him needing knee surgery this week.

Stam lamented: “You are always looking for influential players in certain positions and Jordan was that player last season.

“This season he has struggled with a couple of minor ankle injuries that carried over but he came back fit for the Hull game. He did very well and was a threat going forward and looked very promising.

“Again, he got another injury and you can’t really do anything about that. When you get a message he’s out for the season it’s a big blow especially for him but also for the team.”

Stam also gave an update on the rest of his injured players in yesterday’s press conference.

He explained: “Callum has still got a hamstring problem. He was training until a couple of weeks ago then did something again. We needed to take him out and he’s still going to be out for several weeks.

“Stephen Quinn still has the same problem with his knee. He needs to tell us what he can do. When he can train he does, but at the moment it’s not good enough.

“Joseph had an operation on his knee as well. He struggled with an injury from the beginning of pre-season.

“He got a lot of fluid on his knee, his fitness never got to where it needed to be.

“He joined in with the squad but whenever he played a few minutes or trained his knee would react.

“We took a decision he needed an operation so he’s going to be out for a while. Hopefully that will clear it up. It’s not a cruciate or anything but when you have an operation on knee cartilage it can be very serious.”

However, Stam did have better news on Kermorgant’s recovery with the 35-year-old Frenchman likely to make a return within the next few weeks.

Reading Chronicle:

Yann Kermorgant could be available within a few weeks.

“He’s improving a lot,” added Stam. “He’s a joining in with the group for passing drills and possession games, but not full sessions or big games.

“He’s feeling good. If you told him to play 90 minutes now he’d say yes, but our physios know we need to be careful. If you make one wrong move of if he gets tired the chance of getting another injury is bigger.

“But hopefully he won’t take too long now. It’s not a month any more, it’s weeks.”

Swift could also be back in action sooner rather than later, with Stam stating: “We’ll assess whether to bring him into the squad for training next week.

“He was on the bench for the Hull game. He didn’t come on but he felt the injury and with his history of hamstrings, nobody wanted to risk it.”