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The Royals' boss has revealed that the defender's lack of fitness has kept him out of the starting line-up since his arrival but believes that a return may be around the corner

Reading manager Brian McDermott has revealed that Daniel Carrico has been missing from the first team due to struggles with his fitness.

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The centre-back has only made one appearance at the Berkshire outfit since his switch from Sporting Lisbon during the January transfer window.

The 24-year-old was taken off at half-time during his debut against West Brom by his manager after he appeared to be struggling with his fitness.

McDermott outlined his long-term plan for the Portuguese utility player, who could soon return to the first team.

"He hadn't played much before coming here and I threw him in early," he told the Reading Post.

"That was maybe a little bit unfair on him. He`s played a couple of reserve games and he is getting there.

The 51-year old has however stated that even if Carrico is match fit, the form of Mikele Leigertwood and Hope Akpan may delay his return to the starting line-up.

"It might take a while, but it`s no problem, since he has turned up we have won a lot of games," he added.

McDermott's squad will be looking to bounce back from the FA Cup defeat against Manchester United with a result at home to Wigan on Saturday.