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A Captain's Welcome

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It's been well over a year since Jem Karacan played his last senior game at the Madejski Stadium. With the club captain likely to return for Saturday's game with Middlesbrough should the fans plan a welcome home party?

Ben Hoskins/Getty Images

With the club's official twitter account promoting Jem's return heavily and asking for fans to welcome the Turkish international back, it really hit home how much football the midfielder has missed.

His last game for Reading was in September 2013.

Back then Royston Drenthe was still a fans' favourite, Wayne Bridge was our regular left-back, Jordan Obita hadn't made a league appearance and Nigel Adkins was still hoping for 100 goals.....

Sadly Leeds once again took Jem out, though in far less nasty circumstances then we'd seen back in Easter of 2012.

Initially it was hoped he'd be back before the end of that season but slowly his comeback was pushed back to the point where his whole season was written off. Over the summer he was given the captain's armband by Adkins but again on each comeback attempt he suffered a setback to the point where doubts had to have crept in to some fans' minds that maybe he'd just not be able to come back.

Thankfully those fears were ended last week when the number 21 was announced on the substitutes bench and Jem took place in a first team squad for the first time in 15 months.

An hour for the under 21's followed and now Karacan seems set to take his place in Steve Clarke's squad for Saturday's game with Middlesbrough.

Few Reading players have ever been out for so long between appearances. Graeme Murty and Nicky Forster were both long-term injuries in the late 90's and early 00's but I struggle to think of any player in the past 20 years that's had to spend over a year out with an injury.

I'm absolutely positive he'll get a fantastic reception tomorrow whether he comes on or not but should we as fans do something in particular to mark the occasion?

Let us know your thoughts below but whatever the case, welcome back Jem, we've missed you.