Colchester United keeper James Bransgrove is set to miss the start of the season after undergoing a knee operation.

The highly-rated youngster, who signed a new one-year deal with the U’s earlier this month, suffered the injury in training and is set to be out for several months following surgery.

U’s physio Tony Flynn told the club’s website: “It was a big blow for James but he will be back as strong as ever.

“It happened in training and the cartilage in his knee slipped out of place.

“There was also a tear so it had to be repaired and re-positioned in the operation.”

Bransgrove was a regular for Colchester’s under-21 side, this season.

The 20-year-old, who was an unused substitute for the U’s in their game at Chesterfield last month, spent time on loan at Conference South side Bishop’s Stortford last season.

Football League crowds went up by four per cent this season, with more than 16.3m fans passing through the turnstiles in the Championship, League One and League Two.

In League One, average attendances topped the 7,000 mark (7,038) with a total of 3.9m people attending matches throughout the season.

Football League chief executive Shaun Harvey said: “It’s very heartening to see Football League crowds showing such a healthy increase.

“Having more than 16 million fans at our matches is a great endorsement of the entertainment our clubs provide and I would like to thank everyone that has bought a ticket and backed their team during a memorable season.”

Colchester have added another friendly to their pre-season schedule.

The U’s will travel to play Ryman League division one north side Heybridge Swifts at Scraley Road, on July 11.

Colchester are expected to announce further friendly fixtures for their pre-season campaign in the coming days, with games against Premier League sides lined up.

For all of the latest Colchester United news, see the Daily Gazette.