Still hope for unlucky Christian

CHRISTIAN Ribeiro's loan spell at Colchester United may not yet be over.Having made an impressive debut at Gillingham last Saturday, the 20-year-old right-back limped off with a groin injury during Tuesday night's win over MK Dons.

Stuart Watson

CHRISTIAN Ribeiro's loan spell at Colchester United may not yet be over.

Having made an impressive debut at Gillingham last Saturday, the 20-year-old right-back limped off with a groin injury during Tuesday night's win over MK Dons.

With the Welsh U21 international only due to be with the U's for a month it looked as though his temporary switch from Bristol City would be cruelly cut short.


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However, U's boss Aidy Boothroyd says the injury is not as bad as first feared and that he could yet be given the all clear to play in Saturday's game at Leeds.

“He is going back to his parent club for a couple of days so that they can assess him, but he should be back with us by the weekend,” said Boothroyd.

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“Apparently it is an injury he's had before so we have got to be doubly careful with him, especially as he is somebody else's player.”

Meanwhile, Boothroyd's quest to offload a number of the fringe players from his large squad has continued after French striker Jo�l Thomas was allowed to rejoin former Scottish club Hamilton Academical on loan until the end of the season yesterday.

The �125,000 summer signing - who has made just seven substitute appearances for the first team - could now line up against Celtic on Saturday.

Boothroyd also admitted that he has received 'a lot of interest' in striker Scott Vernon following his comeback hat-trick in Wednesday night's 7-1 victory over Maldon Town in the quarter-finals of the Essex Senior Cup.

“There will be no inwards activity now,” confirmed Boothroyd, who took his number of signings this month to six with the acquisition of David Prutton from Leeds.

“I think we need to cut the squad a little bit though so I hope to get a few calls before the end of the weekend.”

One player who looks to be on the verge of leaving the U's is long-serving defender Pat Baldwin, who is now back in talks regarding a move to Bristol Rovers.

When quizzed about Baldwin's situation, Boothroyd quipped: “I'd rather somebody asked me to solve the situation in Afghanistan and Iraq rather than this one!

“There has been a lot of talk and I'm hoping it will be resolved by the weekend; if not then we'll just get on with it.”

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