Reading boss Veljko Paunovic has confirmed goalkeeper Rafael’s injury isn’t as bad as first feared.

The Royals secured their second win of the season on Tuesday night, defeating Peterborough United 3-1.

In between the sticks was Luke Southwood, with the 23-year-old putting in a strong performance in the absence of number one Rafael.

The Brazilian was absent after picking up a hand injury after Reading’s 3-3 draw with QPR, reportedly hurting himself after punching a whiteboard.

READ: Two new Reading signings dealt injury blows

Now, an update on Rafael’s injury has emerged, with manager Veljko Paunovic providing a welcome boost for supporters.

As quoted by Berkshire Live, Paunovic stated that after a scan, it has been revealed that there is no fracture. He added that he hopes to have the 31-year-old back in action “as soon as possible”.

Here’s what he had to say on the matter:

“After the game when he [Rafael] was assessed it didn’t look good.

“But after we scanned him the news was very positive – there is no fracture.

“His wrist is just swollen and painful so it’s only about pain management now. We expect he will be ready as soon as possible.”

With a positive update emerging regarding Rafael’s injury, it will be interesting to see when the ‘keeper recovers, with swelling and pain persisting.

A battle for a starting spot?

Southwood’s display on Tuesday night might give Paunovic some food for thought, with his usual number two performing well in the win.

The Royals’ defensive frailties in the early stages of the season hasn’t helped Rafael much in terms of keeping goals out, with no clean sheets kept.

There’s nothing wrong with healthy competition, so it will be interesting to see if Southwood is given the chance to make the number one shirt his own.