Gillespie loan move off following injury

COLCHESTER United striker Steven Gillespie was listed for loan on Monday morning – only to pick up yet another injury less than two hours later.

Having missed the start of the season with an ankle injury, U’s boss John Ward felt it was right that the 25-year-old should go out on loan for a month to regain match fitness.

However, after agreeing with Gillespie that a temporary move away would do him good on Monday morning the injury curse struck the unfortunate Liverpudlian yet again as he limped out of training with a thigh problem moments later.

“At quarter to nine on Monday morning we agreed that it would be good to get him out on loan with view to coming back here,” said U’s boss John Ward.

“By 11.15 he had limped off the training pitch with a thigh injury. It’s not a serious problem, but it’s obviously yet another blow for him.”

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Gillespie was due to be offered to League One and Two clubs and Ward says that will remain to be the case once he returns from this latest injury set-back.

He said: “It’s going to be even more important to find him some football once he’s back because he’s going to slip behind the group otherwise.”

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Gillespie has suffered a torrid time with injuries since U’s boss Geraint Williams was persuaded to spend a club-record fee of �400,000 on him in July 2008 following a 16-goal haul for Cheltenham in League Two.

After scoring twice on his debut in the opening game of the 2008/9 season at Hartlepool, he would score just three more times that season as a series of hamstring injuries limited saw him to just 19 more games.

Gillespie declared himself free of injury last season but he was limited to the role of late substitute under the managerial regime of Aidy Boothroyd. The striker made just eight starts and completed just two full 90 minute matches for the first team, with 25 of his 33 appearances coming off the bench.

When Boothroyd’s former assistant Ward was promoted to the hot seat this summer the 59-year-old immediately stated that Gillespie – one the players who helped him gain promotion at Cheltenham Town – would have a bigger role to play this season.

However, the striker injured his ankle in a pre-season friendly at Braintree Town and has only completed one full reserve team game since his recovery as well as one second half substitute’s appearance in the 2-0 home loss to Wycombe Wanderers in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy earlier this month.

Meanwhile, young keeper Carl Pentney, teenage midfielder Sam Corcoran and Welsh Under-21 defender Tom Bender have also been put on the loan list.

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