Colchester United have been dealt a fresh blow on the injury front.

U’s head coach John McGreal has confirmed that midfielder Harry Pell is likely to be missing for the rest of the season after a recurrence of the hamstring injury that has sidelined him since the League Two game against Cheltenham Town on February 9.

The U’s are due to travel to Cambridge United in the league on Saturday.

McGreal confirmed that the 27-year-old central midfielder had been on the comeback trail but had broken down again as the problem had resurfaced and he was now unlikely to be back before the end of the campaign.

“It’s not good news,” said McGreal.

“Pelly is out for the season as he’s had a recurrence of his hamstring injury.

“He wasn’t even with us in training, he was with the sports scientist and it went again.

“That’s a blow.

“He had the scan on it and came back, but he’s broken down again.

“There’s potential that he could be back for the Lincoln game (on May 4) but that would be with him having been out for three months prior to that.

“So it’s a huge blow, especially at this time of year.

“We picked that type of player for this time of the season and it’s just unfortunate.

“He’s had a recurrence of the hamstring injury and he’s off to St George’s Park next week just to get another assessment.”

The news will not ease McGreal’s selection headache in the centre of the pitch as he confirmed that another central player, Brandon Comley, was still another two to three weeks from returning with a problem of his own, while Tom Lapslie is not back to full fitness despite playing in the 2-0 defeat by Tranmere last week.

He added: “We have no news on Comley as of yet, but we think it will be another two or three weeks with him and that’s longer than what we thought.

“So it’s another one in that key area.

“It’s areas that we have talked about over the last few games and it has given other boys opportunities but it’s going to be a blow.

“We’ve also had Tom Lapslie out.

“He was only 50 to 60 per cent fit last week and we had to take him off after he’d been missing for six weeks.

“It has affected us.

“It’s going against us in the goals against column with tidying up in front of the back four but it is giving opportunities and we’ll go with what we have.

“We feel there’s everything to play for and that’s great.”

McGreal also said that goalkeeper Rene Gilmartin and defender Tom Eastman may be doubts for the trip to Cambridge with knee and calf injuries respectively as neither had trained this week.