ALAN Judge has thanked Colchester United after continuing his recovery from a serious knee injury.

The 34-year-old has been playing for the U's under-21 side, as he aims to get minutes under his belt after completing his rehabilitation.

Judge played an hour for Colchester's under-21 team in their 6-2 win over Bristol City at Maldon and Tiptree FC, in their Professional Development League Two game last Friday night.

The former Ipswich Town player recently played his first competitive 45 minutes for more than a year in Colchester's under-21s academy game against Cardiff City.

Writing on social media, Judge said: 'Thanks @ColU_Official for letting me get Another 60mins under my belt'.

Judge was released by the U's at the end of the 2022-23 season after two years with the club but was invited to continue his injury comeback by the League Two outfit. 

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And the former Republic of Ireland playmaker underwent a knee operation last March, after suffering a triple rupture in his left knee in the U's defeat at Sutton United, in December 2022.

Judge suffered the injury in the first half of the 1-0 reverse, with the ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament), PCL (Posterior Cruciate Ligament) and MCL (Medial Collateral Ligament) all affected.

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The ex-Plymouth Argyle man, who has made more than 450 league and cup appearances, started his career at Blackburn Rovers.


Judge had two loan spells at Plymouth before eventually leaving Ewood Park in January 2011 to join Notts County, where he had also spent time on loan earlier in his career.

He left Notts County to re-join Blackburn on a free transfer, penning a three-year deal in the summer of 2013.

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Judge again found games hard to come by at Ewood Park and moved to Brentford on loan in January 2014.

He played 22 times for the Bees before making the move permanent at the end of the 2013-14 season.

The Republic of Ireland international stayed at Griffin Park for five years in total, helping them to win promotion to the Championship in 2014.

Judge moved to Ipswich in January 2019 for an undisclosed fee and made 91 appearances for the Suffolk club in all competitions, scoring eight times before joining Colchester in the summer of 2021.

In total, he made 55 league and cup appearances, during his time at the JobServe Community Stadium.