Colchester United head coach John McGreal on injured midfielders

COLCHESTER United midfielder Tom Lapslie has suffered a blow in his attempts to recover from injury.

The former U's youth-team player, who has missed the club's last two games with a hamstring problem, suffered a setback in his attempts to return to first-team action.

Lapslie pulled up again in training and a scan has revealed a tear, ruling him out for a further three weeks.

It is a blow for John McGreal, who is also without midfield duo Harry Pell and Brandon Comley for their vital home against Newport County, this weekend.

The U's boss will also be without young attacker Louis Dunne for the League Two clash with the Exiles.

Dunne, who was an unused substitute for Colchester's 3-0 loss at Swindon Town last weekend, suffered an injury in the opening minutes of their under-23 defeat against Barnsley, on Monday night.

McGreal said: “Tom Lapslie has had the results of the scan and he’s got a tear.

“He’s out for another three weeks with his hamstring, so that’s ongoing at the moment.

“He did come back to train but he pulled up again.

“Pelle (Harry Pell) has gone for a scan today, just to see how his hamstring is and the extent of that.

“Brandon (Comley) should be training or involved on the grass next week.

“We thought it might have been this week but it’s still a little bit too soon.

“Louis Dunne went down heavily on Monday night, playing for the under-23s.

“He’s now out as well in that midfield area.

“He was on the bench at the weekend and it was a bit of a tough game to put him on.

“He was trying to keep his sharpness up with the under-23s and he was involved in a heavy tackle.

“The extent is going to be a few weeks but we wait to hear a little bit more from the physios, when it settles down.

“We just get on with it – simple as.

“We try and pick a team to win a game of football."

McGreal says they are 'monitoring' the fitness of leading scorer Sammie Szmodics, ahead of the Newport game.

Szmodics missed the U's defeat at Swindon due to a chest infection but has trained this week with the rest of the squad, at Florence Park.

McGreal added: “Sammie Szmodics has trained but he’s had a chest infection.

“He’s come back and done little bits but still looks as though he’s been suffering a little bit.

“Today was a lot better but it’s one that we monitor again tomorrow, because we have three games now in quick succession.

“We have got to be mindful of whether we can get through the three games.

“It’s about his strength, with a chest infection like that.

“It’s about trying to recover after training which he’s found a bit tough.

“He’s trained today and we’ll want to see how he recovers again, because there’s a lot more training on a Thursday when you’re building up to a game."