Freddie Sears could be back in the fold for Colchester’s home encounter against Stevenage on Boxing Day.
The striker is back in training having recovered from a hamstring injury and it remains to be seen whether he is included in Joe Dunne’s matchday 18 against Boro.
Forwards Gavin Massey and Drey Wright are also closing in on their long-awaited returns from respective hamstring and knee injuries and may well be back in action early in the new year. Defender Josh Thompson also continues his recovery from an ankle problem.
Loanee Ben Tozer was on Monday recalled by parent club Northampton and will therefore not be involved.
Roarie Deacon and Michael Doughty will be added to the Stevenage squad for the trip to Colchester.
Forward Deacon and on-loan QPR midfielder Doughty missed Saturday’s goalless draw at home to Sheffield United through suspension.
Left-back Peter Hartley and striker Lucas Akins failed to shake off knocks in time to face the Blades so they will be checked over.
Skipper Jon Ashton, who feared he had broken his ankle against Port Vale the previous weekend, was passed fit and came through the entire 90 minutes so he will continue at the back.