O’Toole faces nine months out

COLCHESTER United midfielder John-Joe O’Toole faces up to nine months on the sidelines after a scan revealed he has suffered cruciate knee ligament damage.

The 21-year-old twisted awkwardly on his left knee during the 1-0 defeat at Charlton on Tuesday night and was stretchered off the field. He will now have an operation in around two weeks’ time.

“He’s had a scan and it’s confirmed that he’s ruptured cruciate ligaments. That means it will be an eight to nine month recovery period,” said U’s boss Aidy Boothroyd, who coached O’Toole as a young teenager at Watford before bringing him to Colchester this January.

“It’s a blow for him and a blow for us, but that’s part and parcel of football. It’s not as if it’s the end of his career, it’s just a blip in his career.”

Boothroyd, whose own playing career was cut short at the age of 26 through injury, added: “I’ve been there myself and it tests your mental strength. He’s tough already, but this will make him stronger both as a person and as a player.”

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