Jermaine Grandison has left Colchester United without kicking a ball for the club.

The centre-back joined the U’s as a free agent last December, after signing a short-term deal until the end of the season following an impressive trial.

Experienced defender Grandison, who has not played in the league since leaving Shrewsbury Town at the end of last season, picked up a hip flexor injury soon after joining Colchester.

And now the 26-year-old has left the Weston Homes Community Stadium without having made a single first-team appearance for the U’s.

Colchester’s Head of Player Resources Iain Moody told the Daily Gazette: “It was in everyone’s interests that Jermaine went now, so that it gives him a head start before the summer, when he’ll be competing with lots more players to find a club.

“I think Jermaine is disappointed it didn’t work out, as we all were. He was brought in at a time when we were looking quite short at the back.

“We brought him in on trial and he did very well and played for our under-23s, a couple of times. There was no fee involved but unfortunately, he picked up an injury pretty much as soon as he signed.

“I think there’s an element of risk with all signings - you’re dealing with human beings.”

Meanwhile, Moody believes the fact that Colchester are still in the hunt for a play-off spot with seven games remaining is partly testament to their productive academy.

The U’s have had to cope with losing a host of senior players due to injury but have coped well with the setbacks, despite the emergency loan window being scrapped last year.

Moody added: “John McGreal and Steve Ball have done a great job and the likes of Cameron James have stepped up when we’ve lost some senior pros due to injury and that’s helped to keep us within touching distance of the play-off positions.

“I spoke to (chairman) Robbie Cowling in the summer about the changes to the emergency loan window and how potentially clubs like ourselves with a band of 20/21 year-olds in the system for a period of time might be able to cope better.

“We lost three central defenders – Tom Eastman, Frankie Kent and Lloyd Doyley – in the space of a week to injury not so long ago and in the past, we’d have more likely than not gone out to get someone in on loan to shore things up.

“But as a Category Two club we’d like to think that we’ve stolen a bit of a march on other clubs with the good young players that we have in our system, with other clubs trying to catch up in terms of finance and time investment to get to the point where we are now.”