Freddie Sears is set to return to Colchester United’s squad for their home game against bottom club Crewe Alexandra this afternoon.
Sears has been sidelined with a hamstring injury which has restricted him to just 28 minutes of football over the last two months.
But the former West Ham United striker has been training with the U’s and could be on the bench for the visit of the Railwaymen (kick-off 3pm).
U’s boss Joe Dunne said: “Freddie will probably come into the squad for the Crewe game.
“He’s been training with different people.
“He trained with the first-team squad on Christmas Eve and he was back with the under-21s on Boxing Day.”
Colchester will be aiming to secure three successive wins in League One for the first time since October 2012 when they take on Crewe.
The U’s will also be hoping to finish the year on a high, following impressive wins over Stevenage and Oldham Athletic.
“Every game is different but we will prepare them for Crewe in the same way as we did for the Stevenage game,” said Dunne.
“What I’m learning in this game is that there’s no magic formula.
“You need to keep the players motivated and have a good group of players around you.
“I’ve only been in the job 15 months but I’m realising that you can prep as much as you want like we did against Notts County where we lost 4-0 and you can keep the players motivated on the training pitch and rest them and you win two games in a row.
“It’s one of those – the most important people are the players.”
Colchester will check on the fitness of captain Brian Wilson ahead of the Crewe game.
The U’s right-back limped off in the second-half of their 4-0 win over Stevenage with a groin problem.
Striker Jabo Ibehre – who has scored two in as many games for Colchester – is still troubled with a hip injury but should be fit.