COLCHESTER United boss Steve Ball has provided an update on Harry Pell's fitness after he missed their win over Bolton Wanderers.

Pell sat out the U's 2-0 victory at the JobServe Community Stadium after picking up a groin injury in the lead-up to the League Two game.

Tommy Smith took the captain's armband in place of Pell, as Colchester claimed their first win of the season.

But boss Ball has provided good news on Pell's fitness.

Ball said: "Pelle is only going to be a very, very short time away.

“Losing Pelle was a real blow because he’s infectious in the way he plays for us.

“He’s a key player for us.

“We tried to get a fitness test for him on Saturday but it didn’t quite work."

Colchester are hoping for further good news on the injury front, with striker Luke Norris very close to a comeback.

The former Swindon Town forward has missed the U's opening four games of the new season with a knee injury sustained at the start of pre-season.

But it now sees as though Norris is edging closer to action.

“Luke Norris is now very, very close and Callum Harriott is fit again," said Ball.

“But this league is relentless and tough and we’ll definitely need a good, competitive squad as we go forward.

“We’re going to need that strength in depth."

Colchester have made a positive start to the season, claiming four points from a possible six in their opening two league games.

They have kept clean sheets against both Bradford City and Bolton, something that has pleased boss Ball.

He added: “I’m loving how we’re looking defensively more than anything.

“I know that might sound a little bit bizarre because we’ve played some really good stuff but the past two games defensively we’ve looked really solid.

“It starts at the top with JB (Jevani Brown) working his socks off up there.

“We’re going to be a fluid, possession-based team with pace but we have to keep defensive-solid compactness."