COLCHESTER United are hopeful that Paris Cowan-Hall will be able to return to action before the end of the season.

The 29-year-old attacker has endured an injury-hit season which has restricted him to just eight appearances for the U's since he joined them from Wycombe Wanderers, last summer.

A troublesome Achilles injury has prevented Cowan-Hall from featuring for Colchester since their 1-1 draw with Macclesfield Town, last September.

Boss John McGreal admits the former Portsmouth attacker, who is currently undergoing strengthening work at Florence Park, is 'not close' to a return yet.

But the U's head coach is still hopeful that he may have a part to play for his side in League Two, between now and the end of the campaign.

McGreal said: “We know where we’re going with Paris.

“He’s doing his strengthening work but he’s not close at the minute.

“Will he be available before the end of the season? You always hope.

“It’s been a long, testing road for Paris and he’s getting his head down and working ever so hard with the physios and the fitness guys.

“We get to a certain stage with Paris and then it just tends to break down when he gets put into a stress game.

“We’re hopeful this time that we’ve got to the root of the problem and he can train and then move on with a couple of under-23 games, to see where he’s at."

Colchester return to League Two action this weekend when they make their first-ever trip to Moor Lane to play Salford City.

The U's are aiming to bounce back against the Ammies following back-to-back league defeats, against Port Vale and Grimsby Town.

Colchester currently lie seventh in the table heading into the match, nine points adrift of the automatic promotion places with 12 games remaining.

The U's could make changes to their starting line-up, following their 3-0 reverse at Vale Park last weekend.

McGreal added: “We have a really tough game at Salford, where we need to stand up and be counted."