Robert Huth has a new nickname at Stoke City. "Lazarus, the lads are calling him," manager Tony Pulis revealed after Huth played the full 90 minutes in near-30 degree heat on Saturday.
A week ago Huth was kept in hospital with viral meningitis but there was no trace of his illness as he kept Reading's main summer signing Pavel Pogrebnyak quiet during the clubs' 1-1 draw.
"He was bad," said Pulis. "He had a very high temperature and was kept in overnight, so to play the whole game in these conditions was fantastic. It is worrying when anyone has something like that, but I was told while the virus drags you down very quickly, you can recover quickly too."
Huth's subduing of Pogrebnyak will have come as a disappointment to Anton Zingarevich, who was watching his first match as Reading's owner and had helped persuade fellow Russian Pogrebnyak to join. Zingarevich's father is controversial billionaire oligarch Boris and Anton has confirmed the club was bought with "family money". Not that this means the club has "money to burn", according to manager Brian McDermott, who added: "The owner wants to run this club as a business, with the philosophy that we've had for many years."
Reading needed Adam Le Fondre's 90th-minute penalty to avoid defeat on their return to the top flight after goalkeeper Adam Federici gifted a goal to Potters debutant Michael Kightly.