DENISS Rakels appears no closer to a first-team return with Reading FC.

The Latvia striker has been out of action since last August following surgery on a fractured ankle.

Royals boss Jaap Stam revealed the 24-year-old is still struggling to reach full fitness.

“Deniss Rakels is still out,” said the Dutchman. “He's been training with us for a couple of weeks and played some minutes for the Under 23s, but he's not ready for the first-team squad.

“He's not really feeling as good as he was before and you can see it in training.”

Rakels has played just 14 games and scored three times for Reading since joining from Polish club Cracovia in January 2016.

Stam added: “The most important thing for him is to gain confidence, sometimes receive a tackle or put one in.

“But his ankle still feels sore at the moment so you can understand how he might be a bit scared.

“So we're still trying to get him fit and ready to play 90 minutes.”

Stam confirmed none of his players currently injured are in line for a return this Saturday when Royals host Wolves at Madejski Stadium (3pm ko).

“The squad is the same as it was for the Brighton game,” explained the Dutchman.

“Stephen Quinn is in the same position, Callum Harriott and Sandro Wieser are still out, Taigo Illori is still out with his knee, Danzell Gravenberch is out with an ankle injury.

“Tiago isn't training with the squad but he'll be doing more outside work soon.

“He'll then need to get his fitness back so he might not be available until the last couple of weeks of the season, which is a real shame for him.

“Reece Oxford had a hamstring injury and should join in again next week.

“Stephen Quinn has been training with us for two weeks though he missed a couple of days this week because he has a reaction. We're hoping he'll play for the Under 23s soon.

“Callum's hamstring injury was in a difficult place near the tendon so it rally needs time to heal. Before he does some running he needs to feel really good.

“We haven't had a lot of luck with injuries but it's something you have to anticipate.”