TOM Lapslie has been ruled out of Colchester United’s game at Morecambe this weekend because of a groin injury.

The combative midfielder, who returned to the U’s starting line-up last month against Cheltenham after recovering from a hamstring injury, suffered the ailment in training, last Thursday.

It forced Lapslie to miss the 1-1 draw with Cambridge United last weekend and although the injury is not long term, it means the U’s youth product will have to spend more time on the sidelines.

It has been a frustrating few months for Lapslie, who has missed almost the entire first half of the campaign due to a knee injury.

Colchester boss Steve Ball said: “It’s not a recurrence – it’s a new injury.

“Tom picked up a groin injury last Thursday.

“It was innocuous – nothing was around him.

“Unfortunately, when players have a injury-riddled season, the next thing is a little injury and then another little injury – it just never seems to end.

“Tom’s devastated – he just wants to be out there as we all saw in the game that he did come back in, where I thought he was excellent.

“It’s not long term which is a real bonus.

“I think we’re looking at another week or so but he won’t be available for Saturday.”

Colchester have received some good news on the injury front, though.

Forward Michael Folivi has returned to training and is set to travel with the U’s squad to Morecambe, this weekend.

The former Watford youngster has missed the last three weeks with a hamstring injury suffered in the 0-0 draw with Cheltenham.

Ball said: “Michael is fit – he’s trained and he’ll be with the squad on Saturday.”

Meanwhile, U’s boss Ball says he is keen to give any players who are lacking game some minutes for Colchester’s under-23s.

A host of first-team players featured against Watford under-23s earlier this week, including Miles Welch-Hayes, Shamal George and Josh Bohui.

Ball added: “I’ve tried to do that as much as I can this year – when players aren’t in and around with me, they play.

“I think over years gone by, it’s not been the case.

“But I think it’s really important that they get their minutes.

“I went to the game and it was a good competitive game.

“We had a trialist playing as well and it’s good to have players getting minutes.”