COLCHESTER United will assess the fitness of right-back Ryan Jackson after he limped out of last night’s Trophy defeat against Stevenage.

The experienced right-back was withdrawn after just 18 minutes of the U’s 2-1 loss in the second-round clash at the JobServe Community Stadium with a foot injury.

Jackson initially suffered the injury in Colchester’s 1-1 draw at Cheltenham Town on November 23 and had been nursing the ailment, in the lead-up to the Stevenage game.

The 29-year-old defender had been given the all clear by the U’s physio team but was unable to continue against Stevenage and was replaced by Tom Lapslie, who filled in at right-back for the remainder of the game.

Colchester head coach John McGreal said: “It’s one that he’s been nursing.

“We’ve got through training and the physio has given him the all clear but after ten minutes, he’s signalled across to say that he’s not fit.

“It’s one that we’ll have to have a chat about, because I would have adapted my bench really to put on a bit of a replacement knowing that he would have been struggling.

“It’s one that we have to look at to see what he’s like for the weekend.”

Lapslie once again showed his versatility by playing out of position for Colchester, in their 2-1 defeat.

The tenacious midfielder filled in at full-back, with no recognised right-back on the bench for the U’s.

“Tom doesn’t let you down wherever you put him,” said McGreal.

“He’s played as a ten and obviously as the four, which is his renowned position.

“He also played at left-back at Forest Green and against Swindon.

“The thing is with Tom is that when you give him an opportunity and a job to do, he will do it to the best of his ability and he wears his heart on his sleeve.”

Colchester trailed 2-0 at the break to Stevenage, following Jason Cowley's first-half brace.

An own goal by Stevenage defender Chris Stokes gave the U's a lifeline after half-time but they were unable to muster an equaliser, as the bowed out of the EFL Trophy for another year.

McGreal added: “In the first half we were terrible but in the second half, we were much more like ourselves.

“To give ourselves a two-goal deficit was tough but we should be scoring more goals than the one own goal we got.

“We kept the ball much better in the second half and we were so static in our movement, in the first half which was nowhere near good enough.”