Strike duo Freddie Sears and Gavin Massey are set to hand Colchester United a major boost by returning to training this week.

But fellow attacker Sanchez Watt is almost certain to be ruled out of the U’s trip to play Bradford City in League One, on Saturday.

Colchester’s attacking options have been left severely depleted of late, with Massey, Sears and Watt all sidelined.

Joe Dunne’s side were without half a dozen senior players for their game against Coventry City, last Sunday.

That has promoted the U’s boss to sign Jeffrey Monakana on a month's loan from Preston North End.

But a scan has shown that Sears’ groin injury which has sidelined him for the U’s last two games is not as bad as first feared.

And Massey is also hopeful of easing Dunne’s injury woes by returning to training, ahead of Colchester’s game at Valley Parade this weekend.

U’s first-team physio Tony Flynn said: “I’m hopeful Freddie will be able to train this week and there’s a chance he could be available for the weekend.

“He felt his groin against Leyton Orient and when he tried to train with it before the Dagenham and Redbridge game, found it uncomfortable.

“Freddie’s had a week off and had a scan and what he’s got isn’t very significant, which is a good thing.”

Flynn said the news is also encouraging on Massey, who sat out the Coventry defeat with a hamstring strain.

“Gavin was close to being fit for the Coventry game but just didn’t make it,” said Flynn.

“It’s a minor hamstring strain and it’s often the kind you try and play on with.

“He’s not trained but I hope through tomorrow in training and be available again for the weekend.”

Watt is unlikely to return to training until next week at the earliest, having been hampered by a quad injury over recent weeks.

But a second scan on the former Arsenal youngster’s injury this week has revealed that there has been some improvement.

Flynn added: “Sanchez has had this quite a while and played on with it.

“He’s ignored our advice to stop which is a good attribute in the lad, because he wants to play.

“But there’s an old saying that says ‘rest is best’ and I think that’s the case with Sanchez, for the time being.

“There’s chance that he’ll be back in training next week and then it will be up to the manager.

“It really depends on how the strengthening goes.”