Doug Loft has been ruled out for up to a month with the shoulder injury he sustained in Colchester United’s 1-0 win over Lincoln City.

The 30-year-old was forced off in the first half of the U’s victory over the Imps and is not expected to be back for three or four weeks, after it was confirmed that he had suffered a slight tear in his bicep.

Colchester head coach John McGreal said: “As Doug has tried to protect himself and fallen to the floor, it’s given way under him as well and collapsed under him with the slippery surface.

“It’s a real pity because he’d played his part in our form and waited a long time to get his career going at this football club.

“We’ve shown a lot of trust in him and been really patient in getting him fit and picking and choosing how we adapt his training to keep him fit.

“It’s just unfortunate how things have worked out on Tuesday but luckily, we have players who can come in and do well and (Brandon) Comley came on and did a terrific job (against Lincoln).

“He’s been playing quite well as well and we have Slats (Craig Slater) who can drop in too, so we have got options.”

Kurtis Guthrie took part in a light training session with the first team at Florence Park this morning.

But U’s boss McGreal has ruled out the possibility of the striker being part of things at Notts County, on Saturday.

Guthrie has not featured for Colchester since coming on as a substitute in their 1-0 win at Yeovil on September 30, having returned from a seven-month lay-off due to an ankle injury.

McGreal said: “Kurtis took part in a light training session with the first team this morning but there’s no chance of him being available for selection for the squad for Saturday.

“It was more about seeing where he’s at, rather than him being ready for the first team.”

Meanwhile, U’s club captain Luke Prosser is targeting a January return after missing the last year because of a knee injury.

Former Southend United defender Prosser trained with the U’s under-23 squad today.