Colchester could be boosted by the return of Kevin Lisbie, Christian Ribeiro and Paul Reid for the Essex derby visit of Southend.
On-loan Ipswich striker Lisbie missed last weekend's win over Carlisle with a thigh strain, but he has trained this week and should be involved.
Right-back Ribeiro and centre-half Reid are also pushing to return from groin injuries but their deputies, John White and Matt Heath, have performed well in their absence to give boss Aidy Boothroyd something to think about.
Ashley Vincent has been pencilled in for a reserve game next week.
The winger has been sidelined since September with a serious ankle injury but is back in training and looking to build up his match fitness.
Southend boss Steve Tilson could hand a debut to on-loan Arsenal youngster Sanchez Watt.
The 18-year-old winger sealed a month-long loan move to Roots Hall before the closure of the January transfer window and is likely to go straight into the squad.
However, midfielder Anthony Grant is expected to be out of action for up to two months with an ankle injury.
The 22-year-old sustained the problem during the 2-2 draw with Swindon and, following an MRI scan, it has been confirmed that he has damaged his ligaments.
Defender Anthony Grant misses out through suspension and on-loan Colchester duo Pat Baldwin and Scott Vernon are ineligible to face their parent club.
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