ROYALS midfielder Brian Howard will miss the next three games after the club decided not to launch an appeal against his red card in the weekend’s defeat at Middlesbrough.

The 27-year-old was shown a straight red by referee Graham Salisbury for a late tackle on Boro substitute Andy Halliday in the 85th minute.

Howard will be suspended for the visit of his former club Barnsley to the Madejski Stadium this Saturday, as well as the home fixture against Ipswich Town and the trip to Preston North End.

Meanwhile, Reading skipper Ivar Ingimarsson and Chris Armstrong will take another step towards full fitness tomorrow when they turn out for Royals reserves against Leicester City’s second string in a friendly.

Armstrong has been out for 13 months following knee surgery while Ingimarsson is recovering from an operation on his hamstring.

Blackburn Rovers loan defender Zurab Khizanishvili and fit-again Marcus Williams are also in Nigel Gibbs’ team which will include England youth international Jack Mills at right-back.

Simon Church and Noel Hunt are set to start up front in what looks a strong Royals reserves side.

Reading reserves: Alex McCarthy, Jack Mills, Marcus Williams, Jake Taylor, Zurab Khizanishvili, Ivar Ingimarsson, Michail Antonio, Chris Armstrong, Simon Church, Noel Hunt, Hal Robson-Kanu. Subs: Abdulai Bell-Baggie, Simon Locke, Michael Hector, Danny Joyce, Gozie Ugwu.