Lucas Joao has been sidelined for nearly the entire 2021/22 campaign so far after starting in Reading’s opening two Championship games.

Joao, 28, was a star player for Reading during the 2020/21 season, netting 22 goals and chipping in with seven assists in 40 games across all competitions.

However, after he suffered a hip injury in the Royals’ win over Preston North End earlier in the season, he has been out of action since.

Now, we take a look at Joao’s injury status at Reading and when Veljko Paunovic could welcome him back into contention.

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Shortly after suffering the blow, it was said thay Joao may have to undergone surgery. Since then, he has gone under the knife on the blow.

An update emerged on the forward’s situation at the start of October, with Paunovic revealing he had “ripped the joint of his hip”. Berkshire Live states that Joao is likely not to feature until 2022, with another report from the same outlet reiterating that the prolific striker will be out of action until the New Year at least.

An exact return date is yet to emerge, which makes sense given the severity of the blow.

It will be hoped that the former Sheffield Wednesday man can return and help the Royals, given just how vital his goals were last season.

Until then, Paunovic will have limited options at the top of the pitch. Yakou Meite is also a long-term absentee, so George Puscas and youngsters Jahmari Clarke and Kelvin Ehibhatiomhan will be the go-to options at striker.