Williams set to miss start of season

COLCHESTER United keeper Ben Williams could return to the Essex club today, following his long stay in hospital with a mystery viral infection.

COLCHESTER United keeper Ben Williams could return to the Essex club today, following his long stay in hospital with a mystery viral infection.

However, manager John Ward has admitted that Williams is likely to miss the start of the new season.

Williams was taken ill during the U’s trip to Holland last week, and has since spent more than a week in hospital, both in Arnhem and back home in his native north-west.

He has now left hospital, and could even be reunited with his team-mates today. But he faces a tough few weeks ahead, returning to full fitness.

Speaking after last night’s 1-0 win at Braintree Town, in Jamie Guy’s benefit match, U’s boss Ward said: “We are very hopeful that Ben will be back in the football club tomorrow.

“He has been hospitalised for the last nine or 10 days, which has been a bit traumatic for him and his family, but it will be great to have him back in the football group.

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“He is out of hospital now. Our club doctors and medical guys can then take it on from there.

“Of course it has been very dehabilitating for Ben. He has had time in hospital in Holland and back here, and we are not quite sure what the problem has been,” added Ward.

The U’s travel to Preston for their first match of the new season, on August 6, and Ward believes that this match will come too soon for Williams.

Ward confirmed: “My guess is that Ben will miss the start of the season.

“It’s less than three weeks away now, and I think he will take a little longer to build up because we have only just got him out of bed and out of hospital treatment.

“It will probably be too much for him to get back for the start of the season.”

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