Easter out for two months

JERMAINE Easter's worst fears were realised last night when results of a scan on his left knee revealed medial ligament damage.

Carl Marston

JERMAINE Easter's worst fears were realised last night when results of a scan on his left knee revealed medial ligament damage.

Easter's loan spell from Colchester United has therefore been cut short. The Welshman will undergo his rehabilitation back at his parent club, Plymouth Argyle, before any decision is made on his long-term future.

While it's bad news for Easter, it's certainly bad news for the U's as well - the 26-year-old front-runner had impressed since his arrival from Home Park a month ago, scoring in both his home appearances against Yeovil and Hereford.

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Easter was hoping to continue in this rich vein of form for the remainder of this month, with even the possibility of signing a permanent deal in January. But those hopes have been dashed, at least for the moment, by a knee injury picked up midway through the first-half of last Saturday's 2-1 win at Leeds.

"I've torn medial ligaments, and they reckon I will be out of action for six to eight weeks," confirmed Easter last night.

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"I had the scan on Wednesday and have just received the results. It's frustrating news. I have suffered a grade two tear to the medial ligament.

"I didn't know how serious it was when I did the injury. I was just over-stretching and must have landed awkwardly. I tried to put weight on the knee but it felt very wobbly.

"I have had muscle tears before, but not a ligament tear. I've now got to build my strength back up, which I'll be doing at Plymouth.

"I don't know what the future holds after that. Whether I play for Colchester again is probably down to Paul Lambert (U's manager). It's a pity because I felt that I was playing well and was looking forward to scoring some more goals," added Easter.

Ex-Wycombe favourite Easter, who was recruited by Plymouth for £210,000 just over a year ago, had been out of favour at the Devon club.

Lambert was the Wycombe manager for the last two seasons, and so is understandably a big admirer of Easter's talents. The razor-sharp front-runner did well for him at Adams Park and had formed a good strike partnership with Clive Platt at the Community Stadium.

The U's will be hoping that fellow striker Steven Gillespie, who played the final 15 minutes of Tuesday night's 1-0 defeat at Luton in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy, will continue to make rapid progress on his return from a long-term hamstring injury.

Lambert's men entertain promotion-chasing Scunthorpe at the Community Stadium on Saturday.

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