COLCHESTER United's players today returned to training, ahead of their potential League Two play-off semi-final against Exeter City.

The U's players and staff reported for duty at their Florence Park training ground in Tiptree, minus the four individuals who tested positive for Covid-19 following testing last Thursday and Friday.

The quartet will now self isolate at home for seven days, in line with the EFL protocols surrounding a return to training.

However, all the other members of the U's squad and staff returned negative tests and players have begun training this week ahead of their proposed play-off semi-final against Exeter.

Colchester, who have not played since winning 3-0 at Carlisle United on March 7, are awaiting confirmation of the play-offs.

Clubs have voted to end the season and have promotion and play-offs but that needs to be ratified by the EFL and the FA.

Training was split to reduce the number of people attending the training ground at one time.

It had already been strictly limited to the 28 personnel in the testing programme.

U's sports scientist Perry Blanchette told the club's website: "It's great to see the lads back at the training ground and out on the pitches again.

"It was a bit strange having them in small groups rather than the squad as a whole, but we have to keep everyone safe and socially distanced for the time being.

"There were four or five in each group, and the sessions were quite intense but were all done with a ball at their feet.

"With them being away for such a long period, it was more a case of seeing where they all were fitness wise and getting them used to the movements and running again.

"They were in good shape and I have been impressed with the levels, and those levels should increase quickly as the intensity increases in the coming days.

"They all know what we're potentially preparing and training for and it's a big motivation for everyone."