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Swimming against a tide of injuries
9:00am Saturday 7th September 2013 in Sport
COLCHESTER United have taken to the water in a bid to avoid adding to their injury-ravaged squad.
The U’s have a number of players on the treatment table ahead of their League One clash with Coventry City on Sunday.
And rather than making the situation worse, boss Joe Dunne swapped the Florence Park training pitch for the Five Lakes swimming pool on Thursday.
Colchester were left with only nine players training, following their injury problems coupled with Thursday night’s under-21 game against West Ham United.
Dunne said: “We’ve been hit with a number of injuries and it was a case of protecting the group that I was left with.
“I was left with only nine players training so decided it would be best to get some work into them without any risk of injury.
“The best way of doing that was in a swimming pool so the lads have been over to Five Lakes.”
Colchester assessed the fitness of several attacking players ahead of the Coventry game, which takes place at Northampton Town FC on Sunday.
Sanchez Watt and Freddie Sears both saw specialists on Thursday about their respective ankle and groin injuries which are threatening to sideline them this weekend.
Gavin Massey could also miss out with a hamstring injury but the news is more hopeful on Drey Wright, who has been suffering with calf problems.
Dunne is hopeful that having an extra 24 hours to prepare for the game this weekend may give his injured players the necessary recovery time.
“We have to make sure that we can keep whoever we have fit,” said the U’s boss.
“The fact that the game is Sunday gives us an extra 24 hours, which helps.
“We’ve already spoken with the medical department about that.
“It looks favourable for some but probably not as favourable for others.
“It’s the forward wide areas of the pitch where we’re struggling at the moment.
“We’ll see where we are after Sunday and maybe address it next week (in the loan window) if we have to.
“We might have to tweak one or two things but that won’t be a problem. We just have to manage how we get the best out of what we’ve got who may not be 100 per cent fit.”
Dunne is optimistic that both skipper Brian Wilson (calf) and Ryan Dickson (illness) will be fit for the Coventry game.
And former Sky Blues striker Clinton Morrison is also expected to shrug off a hamstring strain, in order to play a part.
However, Magnus Okuonghae serves a one-match ban following his red card against Dagenham & Redbridge in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.