Colchester United are hoping that Harry Pell will return for pre-season after the midfielder underwent hamstring surgery.

The U's midfielder, who was assessed at St George's Park, was likely to be ruled out for the rest of the current campaign with the injury, which he suffered against his former club Cheltenham Town in February.

However, Pell underwent an operation to cure the tendon injury last week and was treated by one of the top specialists in the country.

He will now spend the next two months recovering, in a bid to return for next season's preparations.

Colchester boss John McGreal said: "Harry had an operation last week.

"We knew he was out anyway - he had an option of strengthening it up but he went to the top fellow in London and he said that it would be better for him to have the operation.

"He's dealt with a couple of other boys like (Michail) Antonio at West Ham and he said that once he had the operation he would be fine.

"He's out but we're hoping he'll be back for the start of pre-season, if not then a couple of weeks into it.

"That's why we tried to get it in early so it could be done and we could potentially get him back for the start of pre-season.

"It was tender in the end - he went up to St George's Park and had a couple of assessments up there.

"They said that it would be wise for him to go and see this gentleman in London who they felt was the best person for a hamstring injury.

"They said the best thing would be an operation."

Meanwhile, McGreal admits it is 'touch and go' on whether or not Brandon Comley returns before the end of the season.

The former QPR midfielder has been out since suffering a knee injury in training in February.

"Brandon has been out on the grass a little today but only in trainers," added McGreal.

"It's going to be touch and go now between now and the end of the season.

"It's another blow to another midfielder.

"We're getting one or two back but when you're missing the likes of Comley and Pell, it's tough."