Vito Mannone: Reading goalkeeper reveals mother suffered a stroke
Goalkeeper Vito Mannone wanted to make his poorly mother "proud" by returning to the Reading side for Saturday's goalless draw with Sheffield Wednesday.
The 29-year-old missed the midweek draw at Bolton after flying back to Italy to be with his mother, who had a stroke.
Mannone was just a teenager when he lost his father Michelangelo, who died of cancer.
"It has been very tough, but I have been through tough stuff in my life already," he told BBC Radio Berkshire.
"She is delicate. She is fighting for her life and we all hope she can recover now and make it through."
He added: "I wanted to get back to the team as that would make my mum proud of me.
"I am happy to be back playing football as that is what my parents always wanted for me."
Former Italy Under-21 international Mannone has already made plans to return to Italy to be with his mother, but wants to be involved when the Royals take on his old club Sunderland on Saturday.
"I need to focus on my game, put out my emotions, and be cold and be sharp for my team," Mannone continued.
"I have organised myself to go back to Italy again after the Sunderland game next Saturday, as we then have 10 days before the next game. And I hope to find her in a different position."