Jem Karacan spoke to Sky Sports News yesterday and told them he could be in line for a return to first team action in the New Year—or sooner.
The Turkish ball-winner hasn't featured for the Royals since the 1-0 victory at Leeds in September 2013, and was handed the club captaincy when Jobi McAnuff departed in the summer.
Speaking to Sky Sports, he said:
"It's tough you can't rush these things, there's so many cruciates these days but I'm looking to be in and around the Christmas period and if I can push for that I'd be delighted."
He had hoped to return to action by October, but that return never transpired.
Karacan will, however, return to full contact training next week.
"I don't want to be too adamant on the date, we'll see what happens but fingers crossed it'll be Christmas or the new year."
The news comes as a major boost to the Royals, who have had a number of injuries this season, including fellow long-term absentees Garath McCleary and Danny Williams—who have recently returned to the fold—and Danny Guthrie, who remains an intriguing case.
The skipper graduated from the club academy and has gone on to make 166 appearances for the Royals, scoring 11 times and assisting 15.
How did you receive this news? Would he go straight into your starting XI once fit? Let us know below.