VITO Mannone's injury is not as bad as first feared and the Reading FC keeper could even play against Wolverhampton Wanderers.

The 29-year-old stopper suffered a heavy knock during Royals' excellent 4-2 victory at Derby County last Saturday.

It was initially feared the Italian could be sidelined for up to 10 weeks.

But Mannone took to social media to rubbish the rumours.

The news will be a huge boost for Royals boss Jaap Stam who is already coping with a string of injuries to his players.

Mannone will now undergo a fitness test next week to determine whether he is ready to face Wolves on November 18 at Madejski Stadium.

If not, Royals will have to battle on without their first-choice keeper and put their faith in Finland international, Anssi Jaakkola.

Jaakkola is currently on international duty ahead of Finland's home friendly against Estonia in Helsinki tonight.

It would also see George Legg promoted to Stam's first-team squad, with Royals unable to recall Jonathan Bond from Peterborough United due to the terms of his loan.

Lewis Ward has also been recalled from his loan with Hungerford Town after 'a higher level club' approached Royals regarding a potential short-term deal.

Royals are already missing a string of players after a glut of injuries this season.

Joey van den Berg, Liam Kelly and Sam Smith were all forced to miss last weekend's win at Pride Park after picking up recent knocks.

That day Stam was also without the services of the following players: Tiago Ilori (head), Jon Dadi Bodvarsson (calf), Garath McCleary (groin), George Evans (thigh), Jordan Obita (knee), Callum Harriott (hamstring), Joseph Mendes (knee), Stephen Quinn (knee) and Tennai Watson (hamstring).

Stam recently admitted he could do with a change of luck on the injury front.

“It is very frustrating and we have spoken a lot about it in recent weeks,” he confessed.

“We’re always looking for answers but a lot also happens in games where players get knocks or kicks.”

However, Stam's injury woes have eased slightly in the past few weeks following the return to fitness of striker Yann Kermorgant and midfield ace John Swift.