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Read FC injury crisis worsens as Rafael prepares to stand out

Reading goalkeeper Rafael is on the sidelines after sustaining an injury following the 3-3 draw with QPR at the weekend.

It is understood that the Brazilian has broken his hand and is therefore likely to be inactive for a few months.

Another issue manager Veljko Paunovic is facing is the injury of the 31-year-old.

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The boss, who has overseen just one win in his team’s seven league and cup games so far this season, is now without NINE first-team players.

Forwards Yakou Meite and Lucas Joao are both out long-term, while Tom McIntyre and Femi Azeez are only expected to return later in the year.

New recruits Danny Drinkwater and Scott Dann are lacking in fitness, while Andy Rinomhota missed the QPR game with an ankle problem.

Felipe Araruna, meanwhile, is back in training after missing last year with a knee injury, but he is not expected to return to the first team until next month at the earliest.

Substitute goalkeeper Luke Southwood is expected to take Rafael’s place for the foreseeable future, starting with Peterborough United’s visit to Select Car Leasing Stadium on Tuesday night.

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