It's bad news on the injury front for Reading - really bad news. Long-term servant and fan favourite Jordan Obita's recovery is set to continue for quite some time, with the left-back not due to return before the end of the season.
Jose Gomes said so in his pre-match press conference ahead of the trip to Derby County on Saturday. From Jonathan Low's live blog:
"Obita will decide next week whether he needs an operation - but he won’t play again this season."
It's a big blow for a player whose way back from injury has been a long time coming. Obita last played for the first-team on September 23 2017, coming off the bench in a 1-1 draw against Hull City, but damaging his knee in the process. He's since gone through a drawn-out rehabilitation process that even saw him head over to Philadelphia for specialist attention.
Obita certainly can only be going to get back to fitness, he’s rehabbing with one of the best specialists who just happens to work in Philadelphia. https://t.co/4TMBUIonCR— Scarlet Ablett Obita (@scarletobita) September 4, 2018
There had been hopes he would return at some point towards the end of 2018, but we're now looking towards next season. Naturally, it's not the kind of thing the club can or should rush, so we can only wish Obita the very best, and a speedy return.
From Jose Gomes' point of view, he'll likely continue to start Omar Richards at left-back - although the youngster had injury problems of his own not long ago. Tyler Blackett can fill in in that role, while Chris Gunter and Andy Yiadom can cover if needed.