Colchester United have been dogged by injuries like never before
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
When Colchester United last won promotion, back in 2005-06, no fewer than six players chalked up at least 40 league games apiece.
The ever-reliable sextet were Chris Iweulmo (all 46), Greg Halford (45), Kevin Watson (44), Mark Yeates (44), Neil Danns (41) and Aidan Davison (41)
Furthermore, an amazing 11 of Phil Parkinson’s successful squad, who clinched promotion to the Championship 11 years ago, registered 40 or more appearances in all competitions.
The following season, when the U’s finished 10th in the second tier, again six U’s players rattled up 40 or more games in the Championship.
Even last season, which ended in the disappointment of relegation and was dogged by injury woes, four of that squad made more than 40 league appearances out of the maximum 46.
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George Moncur (45), Tom Eastman (43), Joe Edwards 42) and Gavin Massey (42) were the regular quartet last term, with Alex Gilbey numbering 42 in all competitions.
Compare all of that to this season, which has arguably seen the highest number of long-term injuries in the Essex Club’s history.
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As it stands, only keeper Sam Walker (ever-present, 32 league games), Kurtis Guthrie (32) and Richard Brindley (31) look all set to reach the 40-landmark this term.
Key midfielder Craig Slater (28) is currently managing a troublesome groin injury, although Drey Wright might be in with a shout of getting to 40. However, 10 of his 28 league games have been from the bench.
This week it was revealed that striker Denny Johnstone and centre-half Frankie Kent have both been ruled out for the rest of the season.
The likes of Luke Prosser, Lewis Kinsella, Matt Briggs, Owen Garvan, Tom Eastman, Sammie Szmodics, Doug Loft and Chris Porter have also had their hard-luck stories to tell.
Here is a list of the long-term and mid-term crocked:
League appearances: 14. Missed league games: 32. Injury: surgery on knee. Sidelines: out for the season. Last game: Nov 5 – Chesterfield (h)
League appearances: 12. Missed league games: 20 (to date). Injury: surgery on ankle. Sidelines: on the comeback trail with Under-23s. Last game: Oct 8 – Newport (h)
League appearances: 13. Missed league games: 33. Injury: ruptured ankle ligaments. Sidelines: out for the season. Last game: Feb 11– Barnet (h)
League appearances: 27. Missed league games: 5 (but could be as many as 19). Injury: ruptured ankled ligaments, currently having a course of injections rather than surgery. Sidelines: could be back before the end of the season. Last game: Feb 4 - Blackpool (a)
League appearances: 14. Missed league games: 18. Injury: summer leg injury kept him out for first half of season. Sidelines: back playing, but nursing a sore knee.
League appearances: 15. Missed league games: 17 (but will miss many more). Injury: two separate foot injuries. Sidelines: undwerwent ankle operation in January. Last game: Dec 10 – Mansfield (a)
League appearances: 24. Missed league games: 8. Injury: hamstring before Christmas, more recently a sore hip. Sidelines: missed all of November and most of December.
League appearances: 5. Missed league games: 27. Injury: long-term hip and back problem. Sidelines: back playing since the start of February
League appearances: 3. Missed league games: 29 (might end up being 43). Injury: Achilles tendonitis. Sidelines: unlikely to feature for rest of season. Last game: Aug 20 – Portsmouth (a)
League appearances: 24. Missed league games: 18. Injury: torn cartilage. Sidelines: out for the season. Last game: Feb 18 – Accrington (a)