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Pre-Colchester: Team news

Nolan provides injury update

23 November 2017

Kevin Nolan believes Saturday's game against Colchester United will come too soon for Jon Stead, but he's hopeful Shola Ameobi will be available.

Stead was withdrawn during the first half of Tuesday night's 1-1 draw at Yeovil Town, while Ameobi didn't travel to Huish Park after playing the full 90 minutes of last weekend's 3-1 win over Cheltenham Town.

"Jon took a big blow to the thigh on Tuesday night," said Nolan. "The swelling is coming down and we're feeling more positive about it but Saturday will probably come too soon for him.

"It's one of those injuries which takes a bit of time to recover from but we have to make sure we do the best thing for Jon because we have a duty of care to our players.

"If we lose him for one or two games, it's better than losing him for six or seven because he has been so important over the last few weeks with the quality of his performances.

"Shola has missed a couple of games because of niggles and we don't want them to turn into something bigger.

"Dan Jones is back training with us. We thought he may have had a recurrence of his injury in the Central League Cup game against Mansfield last week but we took him off to be safe rather than worsening it.

"He's come through training today and we will make a decision about whether or not he will be available for the weekend within the next 24-48 hours."

Goalkeeper Adam Collin and midfielder Michael O'Connor have been long-term absentees with knee injuries but Nolan is delighted with how the pair are recovering and, given the squad's strength in depth, is not worried about rushing either of them back.

"Michael has been on an anti-gravity treadmill which has allowed him to run in straight lines," the manager revealed.

"Losing him was a massive blow to us and having him in the squad this year would have put us on another level because of his quality and what he brings to the team.

"Adam's swelling has gone down and he's meeting with the specialist today so we will have more news soon. We're hopeful he will come out of the brace so he can start getting back to work sooner rather than later.

"He has been fantastic since I walked through the door and he has taken his performances to another level this season after finishing last season strongly.

"The most important thing is we get them back at the top of their game and we are not putting them under any stress to ensure there is no recurrence of their injuries.

"They're two massive characters but it's brilliant to see how well the lads have coped without them."

Adult tickets are priced just £10 for this weekend's visit of Colchester United. Click here for details.

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