COLCHESTER United will assess Ben Stevenson's injury today after the midfielder was stretchered off in their 6-1 defeat at Exeter City.

The 23-year-old suffered a painful blow to his back in the closing stages of the U's heavy defeat at St James Park, last night.

Stevenson initially tried to continue but was in agony and after receiving treatment both on the pitch and on the touchline, was eventually carried away by medics for further assessment.

It had been feared the former Coventry City youngster might have to attend a hospital in Devon after the match and he was seen in a wheelchair, after the match.

However, that was not necessary in the end but the injury is still a cause of concern for boss Steve Ball.

Ball said: "It looked really worrying actually.

"It looked really, really sore.

"It was a bang to the back and hip area and they can be really sore.

"I'm a bit disappointed that they couldn't get the stretcher out there quicker, because he was in a lot of agony.

"The only slight positive is that we've got a week now before we play again.

"Let's hope he can come through that.

"We'll get it X-rayed as soon as possible and see where we are."

Stevenson's departure in the closing stages meant Colchester finished their game at Exeter with only ten men, after they had made all five of their permitted substitutions in their League Two match.