JUNIOR Ogedi-Uzokwe's return to Colchester United can be like a new signing for the club, according to John McGreal.

But the U’s boss admits the striker will need to have a period of recuperation, following his loan spell with League of Ireland side Derry City.

Ogedi-Uzokwe is set to return to training with Colchester next month, after impressing during his near nine-month stint with the Candystripes.

The 25-year old hit 14 goals for Derry to earn the coveted Golden Boot and helping his side to finish in fourth spot.

Now he is soon set to return to Colchester for the second half of the League Two season - but boss McGreal says the striker will need some recovery time first.

McGreal said: “The boy needs a break.

“The sport science have had a good chat with him.

“I think he’s played for something like 16 months, so he needs a break.

“He’s done particularly well with the goals he’s scored over there.

“He popped in last week and (lead sport scientist) Perry (Blanchette) was able to give him his timetable and his itinerary, with what’s expected of him.

“Otherwise, you run the risk of burning the boy out.”

Ogedi-Uzokwe joined Colchester from Isthmian League outfit Maldon and Tiptree on an 18-month deal in January, 2018.

The striker, who last summer signed a contract extension with Colchester which will keep him at the JobServe Community Stadium until at least the end of this campaign, has made ten league and cup appearances for the U's to date, scoring once.

Once he is back at Colchester, he will challenge the likes of Luke Norris and Frank Nouble for a place leading their attack.

McGreal added: “Speaking to him, he loved his time over there in Ireland.

“It’s been beneficial to him but now, it’s one where he does need a little bit of a break to recuperate and also just to rest himself and the mind, more than anything when you’ve been playing week in, week out.

“I’m sure we’ll be back drip-feeding him in, in a couple of weeks’ time.

“It could be like a new signing for us with the pitches this time of year starting to get sticky and a bit flatter, injuries come more into the fold at this time of the season."