Further setback to Watson's recovery

COLCHESTER United's most experienced midfielder, Kevin Watson, has suffered a slight setback in his bid to regain full fitness following an Achilles tendon injury.

By Carl Marston

COLCHESTER United's most experienced midfielder, Kevin Watson, has suffered a slight setback in his bid to regain full fitness following an Achilles tendon injury.

Watson has not figured during the first six weeks of this season, after suffering the Achilles problem towards the end of pre-season.

The 33-year-old had been making good progress, and had played for the reserves earlier in the month. But he is now troubled by a calf injury.


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Watson revealed last night: “The problem has moved a little higher up the leg. It's no longer in the main part of the Achilles, which is a relief.

“But now it's a little sore at the point where the calf and Achilles meet. I hope that it's just a little setback. I'll be resting over the weekend and seeing how it is on Monday.

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“I'm looking on it as a secondary injury, stemming from the first one.

“The Achilles had responded to treatment, and perhaps I just over-did it with my bid to get back. I thought that I was in the final furlong to reaching full fitness.

“I'm disappointed, but at the same time I'm pleased that the soreness has moved away from the main point of the Achilles.

“To be honest, that was beginning to worry me. I had an MRI scan on Monday, and that confirmed the problem. I suppose it's a little calf injury.

“I'm swimming a lot, and doing some bike work. Now we'll have to see how things materialise,” added Watson.

Hackney-born Watson has made 147 senior appearances for the U's, since his move from Reading in March, 2002. He has not missed many games during that time, and in fact this is currently the longest spell that he has had on the sidelines.

The former Tottenham trainee was a key man in the U's promotion season of 2005-06, and again during their first season in the Championship last term.

But he has had to bide his time this year, the first time he has failed to be fit for the start of a season in 14 years.

Johnnie Jackson and Kem Izzet have partnered each other in the centre of the park, in Watson's absence. Izzet limped off at half-time during last weekend's 2-2 draw at Blackpool, so summer signing Luke Guttridge is standing by.

While Watson was unable to play for the Reserves in a friendly at Reading on Wednesday, Hungarian international defender Bela Balogh took the chance to play a full 90 minutes.

Balogh is now over his injuries, and will be keen to reach match-sharpness to push for his first appearance in a Colchester shirt.

Manager Geraint Williams said last night: “Bela (Balogh) has now played a couple of games for the reserves.

“It doesn't take much to see where our main problem has been this season, because we've scored 14 goals in seven matches and yet only won one match. We are so attacking that we're letting the defence work too hard. We need to defend better as a team.”

Meanwhile, veteran striker Teddy Sheringham is still receiving treatment for a hamstring injury. The 41-year-old missed the back-to-back trips to Southampton and Blackpool with this injury, and his fitness will be gauged today.

The U's entertain newly-promoted Scunthorpe tomorrow, intent on recording their first home victory of the season.

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