Ward looks forward to John-Joe O’Toole’s return

JOHN-Joe O’Toole has undergone surgery in a bid to hasten his return from a troublesome groin injury.

JOHN-Joe O’Toole has undergone surgery in a bid to hasten his return from a troublesome groin injury.

Colchester United’s no-nonsense midfielder has endured a very frustrating last couple of months, firstly due to suspension, and more recently injury woes.

O’Toole started the U’s first eight league games, but his early season took a turn for the worse when he was sent off at Brentford, within 18 minutes of coming on as a substitute.

Since that 1-1 draw at Griffin Park, on September 13, O’Toole has only made a couple of substitute appearances, amounting to a mere 22 minutes on the pitch.


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The ex-Watford 23-year-old has not even been in the squad for the last four games, due to a painful groin.

But it shouldn’t be too long before he is pushing for a place again.

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Manager John Ward confirmed last night: “Surgery is always a last resort, and we wanted to see if rest would cure the problem. It didn’t, but he won’t be out for long.

“It’s important that we have a strong John-Joe back in the squad, especially around the busy Christmas and New Year period.

“He’s a strong player for us, and you always miss good players,” added Ward.

U’s physio Tony Flynn confirmed: “Initially the problem settled down with some rest, but as soon as John-Joe stepped things up, the problem flared up again.”

O’Toole will hope to resume training in just over a week, and be in contention for a return to the squad within a fortnight.

He will certainly miss this Saturday’s trip to Carlisle, and also the FA Cup second round tie at home to Swindon. His first target will probably be the home game against Bury on December 10.

Meanwhile, Colchester United Reserves will host AFC Hornchurch in the fourth round of the Essex Senior Cup on Tuesday, December 6 (7.30pm). The U’s had knocked out holders Billericay Town in the previous round.

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