Blow for U's as defender still not fit

COLCHESTER United defender Paul Reid will not be fit for the start of the new season.Reid was targeting the season's opener at Norwich City on August 8 for his return to action, following a long lay-off with a broken knee cap.

Carl Marston

Colchester soccer (with Reid pic)

By Carl Marston

COLCHESTER United defender Paul Reid will not be fit for the start of the new season.


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Reid was targeting the season's opener at Norwich City on August 8 for his return to action, following a long lay-off with a broken knee cap.

But the ex-Carlisle and Barnsley 27-year-old has suffered a couple of comebacks over the summer, the second of which has left him having to rest up completely.

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Reid is with the rest of the U's squad at a training camp in Germany this week, but while everyone else is being put through their paces with some hard sessions, Reid is recuperating with his own programme to follow.

It is already four months since Reid suffered the injury, during the 2-2 draw at Huddersfield on March 3. He hoped at the time that it would only be a short-term problem, and yet even now he is still unable to rejoin full training.

“Unfortunately, I have broken down again,” revealed Reid, who watched the U's 3-2 win at Tiptree on Saturday from the sidelines.

“I had been working my way back, allowing my leg muscles to strengthen again during May. I had a lot of June off, but when I came back the knee started to hurt a bit.

“I was desperate to get back into shape during pre-season (from the beginning of this month), and it went well for the first three days, until I broke down, which meant that I had to go back to the consultant.

“The results of the scan were good, in that the bone had fused together as it should, so it was nothing serious.

“I seem to have irritated the knee, so I have to let it settle down and bide my time. I find this very difficult, because I'm always so impatient to start playing again,” added Reid.

It's been doubly frustrating for Reid, because he had done well to establish himself in the first team before his injury. Indeed, he had been one of the first names on the team-sheet, playing alongside Pat Baldwin in the heart of defence.

It now looks like being a very competitive season, in terms of landing a place in the U's central defence. Baldwin and Reid have been joined by summer recruits Magnus Okuonghae (from Dagenham & Redbridge) and Lee Beevers (from Lincoln), while fellow centre-half Matt Heath is still at the club.

However, Reid must not rush back too soon.

He continued: “The consultant basically explained to me that I had suffered quite a big injury, so I mustn't rush it. At the beginning I was told that I would be out for six months, and it's only four months since I did the injury, so I'm still confident of getting back to full fitness by then.

“However, it seems that I will definitely miss the start of the new season, which is disappointing.

“I didn't want to miss pre-season, because it can be so difficult to catch up,” concluded Reid.

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