“It was basically damage limitation” – Colchester United’s Tom Eastman

Tom Eastman goes up for a corner at Doncaster

Tom Eastman goes up for a corner at Doncaster

Tom Eastman has not missed a league match for two years, and he is determined to extend that proud record this weekend.

Colchester United centre-half Eastman played every minute of every game last season, and has started every league game this term.

He hobbled off with a calf injury, during the early stages of the second half of last Saturday’s 3-1 home defeat to Coventry City, which immediately cast doubt over his ability to be fit for today’s trip to ninth-placed Millwall.

However, the 24-year-old former Ipswich Town defender returned to training on Thursday, and is confident of being passed fit to start at the Den.

“I haven’t had an injury for quite a while,” explained Eastman.

“I started the game against Coventry, and felt the calf stiffen up a little at half-time, when I sat down. I tried to carry on, but I think it was a wise decision to come off.

“It was basically damage limitation. If I had played on, then it could have been a longer term injury.

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“So it was lucky that I went off when I did. I got treatment on Monday and Tuesday, and felt good in training this morning (Thursday).

“Hopefully, I can now look forward to this weekend.”

Eastman has not missed a league match, since making his return from injury in a 3-1 home win over MK Dons, back on November 26, 2013, when Joe Dunne was the manager.

Ironically, only one of his team-mates from the starting line-up that day, midfielder Alex Gilbey, is set to play at Millwall this afternoon.

Keeper Sam Walker is out with a long-term injury, while the other nine have all long since left, including Brian Wilson, Jabo Ibehre and Ryan Dickson.

Eastman played the last 29 league games of the 2013-14 season, started all 46 league games last season, and has not missed any of the first 17 league fixtures of this campaign.

“I wish I knew the secret of why I have stayed fit for so long,” admitted Eastman.

“I’m just lucky that I haven’t picked up any bad ones. I’ve just picked up a few knocks along the way, nothing serious.”

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