Brennan Dickenson enjoys cameo role on his comeback from injury

Brennan Dickenson celebrates scoring the 12th and last of his 12 goals last season, against Doncaste

Brennan Dickenson celebrates scoring the 12th and last of his 12 goals last season, against Doncaster. Dickenson is closing in on a return after long-term injury. Picture: STEVE WALLER - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Brennan Dickenson remains on course to return to the Colchester United first-team, by the middle of next month.

Left-sided specialist Dickenson, who enjoyed a superb first season with the U’s last term, has been on a slow but successful comeback from a serious knee injury.

Dickenson was a prime reason whey the U’s got so close to reaching the League Two play-offs last season, scoring 12 goals in 36 league outings following his move from Gillingham in the summer of 2016.

But he suffered cruciate ligament damage last April, which effectively ruled him out of action for the next 10 months.

He is bang on schedule to return to the League Two scene in February, after making his long-awaited return to competitive action with a 30-minute cameo role appearance for the under-23s on Thursday night.

The 24-year-old was introduced as a substitute for the final half-hour of the U’s 4-3 defeat to Swansea City Under-23s in a Premier League Cup fixture.

The U’s lead 2-0 and 3-1 in this match, but despite the disappointment of the defeat, Dickenson showed a lot of energy and saw a lot of the ball during his time on the pitch.

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Manager John McGreal is delighted to have Dickenson getting closer and closer to a first-team return.

“Brennan is such a talented player,” explained McGreal.

“He has been performing so well in training, and now he has had 30 minutes for the under-23s.

“He’s getting his speed back, and he looks even more powerful than before, due to his work in the gym.

“It’s exciting for everyone who has worked with him, the coaches, physios and the sports scientist.

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“Brennan has been champing at the bit to start playing again. We want to push him, and then not push him too far.

“We always thought that he would be back playing (for the first team) in mid-February to late February, and he remains on schedule.

“Hopefully, he won’t have any setbacks. When he returns, he will definitely feel like a new signing for us,” added McGreal, whose U’s side take on Port Vale at Vale Park tomorrow afternoon.

Only Chris Porter (16 goals) scored more goals for the U’s than Dickenson last season.

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