Colchester United sweating on David Fox’s fitness

David Fox hobbles off at Gillingham last Saturday week

David Fox hobbles off at Gillingham last Saturday week - Credit: Richard Blaxall/Focus Images Ltd

Colchester United, a daunting five points adrift of safety, are sweating on the fitness of skipper David Fox in the build-up to the crunch trip to Port Vale, on Good Friday.

Results went against the U’s, last weekend, while Tony Humes’ men were having an enforced lay-off due to their scheduled opponents, Swindon Town, having players away on international commitments.

Key midfielder Fox hobbled off early in the second half of the U’s last outing, a frustrating 2-2 draw at Gillingham last Saturday week, and he is facing a race against time to be fit for the Potteries test.

“David has had three or four bruised and swollen toes,” explained manager Humes.

“It was quite a hefty blow, so David has taken the opportunity to have a few days off, to take all the weight off his legs.

“We will then reassess the injury, but we’re hopeful that it’s just bruising and that he will be OK for the Port Vale match.

“He hasn’t had any scans. He’s just been letting it all settle down, because it was quite swollen as well,” added Humes.

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Fox has been a mainstay of the U’s midfield, ever since he arrived at the club as a free agent last October.

The 31-year-old, who also had a season with the U’s in 2009-10, as one of Paul Lambert’s recruits, will be hoping to make his 30th appearance of the campaign at Vale Park.

But if he misses out, then Humes does have options, such as the teenage duo of Sammie Szmodics and Tom Lapslie.

Attacking midfielder Szmodics replaced Fox after 51 minutes of the draw at Priestfield, while Lapslie is fighting fit again after missing the last month with a foot injury.

Lapslie has figured in a few under-21 games, and was an unused substitute against Gillingham.

Humes added: “Tom (Lapslie) has missed a few weeks, so he has needed to build up his fitness.

“He trained from the end of the previous week, and all last week, so he is back in contention.

“We will just have to wait and see how David (Fox) is,” concluded Humes.

The second-from-bottom U’s could actually be six points adrift of safety, before Good Friday, if Leyton Orient manage to escape the relegation zone with a win at Coventry City tonight.

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