McLeod's woe

by Carl MarstonCOLCHESTER United's rotten luck continues to haunt them following the news that latest signing Izzy McLeod is out for the season, and beyond.

Carl Marston

by Carl Marston

COLCHESTER United's rotten luck continues to haunt them following the news that latest signing Izzy McLeod is out for the season, and beyond.

U's boss Geraint Williams had recruited front-runner McLeod, on loan from Charlton Athletic, to bolster at attacking department already robbed of the injured trio of Mark Yeates, Teddy Sheringham and Jamie Guy.

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But ex-MK Dons favourite McLeod will now wish that he hadn't made this temporary switch from the Valley to Layer Road, after suffering a serious knee injury during Tuesday night's 4-1 defeat at Plymouth.

The 23-year-old appeared as a 65th substitute for Scott Vernon, to make only his second appearance for the U's, but he lasted just 12 minutes.

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McLeod fell awkwardly under a challenge from Hungarian centre-half Krisztian Timar, and yesterday's depressing diagnosis means up to nine months on the sidelines.

A scan revealed significant damage, caused by a spontaneous dislocation to his knee. As a result, his knee will be in a brace for three weeks, before he undergoes reconstructive surgery.

"First and foremost, we all feel very sorry for Izzy (McLeod). It's a real shame," admitted U's boss Williams last night.

"The injury was caused by an innocuous shoulder charge. Izzy's foot was planted in the floor, and as a result his knee was badly twisted. It's very disappointing for the lad, and we wish him well.

"We're obviously having a very bad run of injuries, but we have to stay positive. These things happen in football. You expect to take a few knocks.

"I won't be trying to get anyone else in on loan before this weekend," confirmed Williams, whose side travel to Crystal Palace tomorrow.

The U's are rock bottom of the Championship table, and are now eight points adrift of safety following Coventry City's goalless draw against QPR on Wednesday night.

Star man Yeates was ruled out for the season after dislocating his shoulder against Sheffield United a month ago, while fellow front runners Sheringham (toe infection) and Guy (sore Achilles tendon) have both been out for a few weeks.

Furthermore, defenders John White (dislocated elbow), Danny Granville (tight groin) and Pat Baldwin (knee injury) have also been in the wars, as have the goalkeeping duo of Aidan Davison (long-term shoulder problem) and Mark Cousins (appendicitis).

None of these will be in contention for tomorrow's trip to Selhurst Park.

Skipper Karl Duguid is also struggling for fitness after suffering damage to his ankle during the first half of last weekend's 1-0 home defeat by Wolves. Duguid is only jogging at the moment.

Meanwhile Craig Beattie, on loan at Preston from West Brom, is also set for a long spell on the sidelines, after pulling a hamstring for the north-west club on his debut this week.

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