READING will check on captain Liam Moore and fellow defender Tom Holmes ahead of their Championship clash with Middlesbrough.

Moore limped off during last week’s victory over Peterborough with an ankle problem and his replacement Holmes then promptly followed suit against Fulham on Saturday.

Holmes’ departure allowed Danny Drinkwater to make his debut and the on-loan Chelsea man is pushing for a first start.

Goalkeeper Rafael is in contention for a recall, although Luke Southwood would be disappointed to return to the bench after playing in two victories. Yakou Meite, Lucas Joao, Tom McIntyre and Femi Azeez are all long-term absentees.

Middlesbrough have a major doubt over full-back Anfernee Dijksteel.

He suffered a hamstring injury in last weekend’s defeat by Blackpool and appears unlikely to be fit.

Marc Bola and Paddy McNair have both returned to training after their own injuries and either could come in for Dijksteel if they are deemed ready.

Summer signing Martin Payero made his first appearance for a month as a substitute against Blackpool and is still waiting for a first start.