Yeates faces fitness battle

LEFT-WINGER Mark Yeates faces a race against time to be fit for Colchester United's potential promotion-clinching visit to Yeovil Town this Saturday.Yeates drilled home a spectacular second goal in the U's 2-0 win over Rotherham on Saturday, to leave the Essex club needing just a point from their final game of the regular season to be assured of automatic promotion to the Championship.

By Carl Marston

LEFT-WINGER Mark Yeates faces a race against time to be fit for Colchester United's potential promotion-clinching visit to Yeovil Town this Saturday.

Yeates drilled home a spectacular second goal in the U's 2-0 win over Rotherham on Saturday, to leave the Essex club needing just a point from their final game of the regular season to be assured of automatic promotion to the Championship.

But the Irishman injured himself in the post-goal celebration, which featured an extravagant dive onto the hard pitch, and he was in some pain over the weekend.


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Yeates, who has impressed on loan from Tottenham all season, left the ground with his shoulder heavily strapped up on Saturday, and is now considered a doubt for the trip to Yeovil.

“Mark (Yeates) is struggling with his shoulder. We'll have to wait and see later in the week before making a decision,” said manager Phil Parkinson. “We do have plenty of other options, with attacking players and wide players. At the moment we are just treating it as a normal week.

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“We've also been able to train at Five Lakes for the last couple of weeks, which has been a big help, and I'd like to thank them. The university pitches are very hard at this time of the year, so we are grateful to be able to use the facilities of Five Lakes,” he added.

Exciting winger Yeates has only missed one of the U's 45 league games this season - the 1-0 win at Port Vale on September 17. The 20-year-old has bagged six goals, but also provided the assist for 13 of Colchester's other goals this term.

Ipswich Town loanee Billy Clarke and Rotherham loanee Jamal Campbell-Ryce are amongst those attacking players who are waiting in the wings, although Parkinson could also opt to switch skipper Karl Duguid to the left flank.

Brentford are the only team who can dislodge the U's from the top two this weekend. The Bees have injury woes of their own - leading scorer Lloyd Owusu will miss their trip to Bournemouth after tearing a groin muscle during an international appearance for Ghana. Owusu sustained the injury in a friendly against German club Stuttgart, which caused him to miss Brentford's 1-1 draw against Hartlepool on Saturday, a result which left the west Londoners three points behind the U's, but with a better goal difference.

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