The Super Eagles midfielder dislocated his shoulder in November while playing for Nigeria in their 2015 AFCON qualifiers, and is now close to being declared fully fit.
The national team doctor Ibrahim Gyaran is quoted by Africanfootball.com as saying:
"I want to re-emphasise that Hope Akpan has started active training with the first team of Reading and only awaits final clearance from the doctors who operated on his shoulder by the end of this month to resume full action with his club"
This means an earlier return than many of us had expected for the central midfielder, who had hit a good turn of form just before his injury. The fact he is already in 'active' training, before official confirmation by doctors, means his fitness and confidence will be increasing rapidly.
However, 23-year-old Akpan comes into a crowded environment to compete for one of two spots in that position- and may be limited to a spot on the bench.
Would you put Hope Akpan straight back into the team? Would he even make your bench? Comment below.