Jaap Stam faces a race against time to organise his squad for Saturday's trip to Aston Villa after Tilehurst End sauces got wind that several first-teamers remain absent-mindedly lost in and around Norwich.
Following the squad's departure from Carrow Road with the infamous 'stone of shame', a number of players are said to have scarpered into the East Anglian countryside.
First to be spotted was Lewis Grabban, walking very slowly down the left lane of the M11 with onlookers describing the Bournemouth loanee as 'wildly out of position'.
However things are said to be much worse for Reece Oxford with the young defender going missing as Reading made their way past the capital. Rumours are circulating that Slaven Bilic was seen cuddling the West Ham lad, promising never to send him back to 'that awful, awful place'.
Not of any fear to Stam and Royals supporters is Jordon Mutch's static position inside the Carrow Road car park, vociferously dodging oncoming vehicles while maintaining an aloof posture and spraying loose balls out to the flanks.
With just about 24 hours left before kick-off at Villa Park, Reading are said to be on the lookout for immediate replacements to cover this loss in personnel with Stam continually haunted by a ghostly, bushy-haired figure that continues to demand acknowledgement. The Dutchman has been assured that he's not the first Royals boss to encounter Aaron Kuhl.