Reading FC's star striker Lucas Joao may not return to action this season, manager Mark Bowen confirmed after the defeat to Boro.

After hobbling off with a hamstring injury on New Year's Day, Joao didn't return until Reading faced Stoke City on the first day back after the season suspension.

But, after scoring the opening goal of the game against Stoke City, Joao again sustained an injury which has ruled him out since.


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Bowen had hoped that Joao could feature before the end of the campaign, but admitted in his post-match interview on Tuesday night that he's reluctant to play him too early and risk his fitness ahead of next season. 

Bowen said: "I've got a big decision to make on Lucas - it's a conundrum because he has started back training and is keen to play and start games.

"Where we find ourselves at the moment, the last thing I need is or him to start or be involved in the final two games and something happens to him."

The 26-year-old forward has scored seven goals in 20 appearances since he joined Reading from Sheffield Wednesday.