Josh Thompson could miss the rest of the season after suffering a setback in his recovery from an ankle injury.
The lofty defender has not featured for Colchester United since their Johnstone’s Paint Trophy defeat at Dagenham and Redbridge, last September.
Thompson, who moved to Colchester from Portsmouth on a permanent basis in January 2013, underwent an ankle operation at the end of last year.
But the 22-year-old has now suffered a blow in his hopes of returning to the U’s squad before the end of the campaign.
U’s boss Joe Dunne said: “Josh has suffered a bit of a setback - it’s 50-50 on whether he’ll figure before the end of the season."
For more on this story, see Friday's Daily Gazette.