Defender Richard Taundry and striker Darren Byfield are doubtful for Walsall's clash with Colchester.

Taundry was forced out of the Saddlers' Johnstone's Paint Trophy 2-1 defeat to Chesterfield with a knee problem and is waiting on results from a scan to determine the severity of the problem.

Byfield, meanwhile, returned to training on Thursday following an Achilles problem and will be assessed ahead of the visit of the Us.

The Saddlers will definitely be without Steve Jones (ankle), who is expected back in training towards the end of next week, and fellow frontman Alex Nicholls as he serves the second of a three-match ban.

Also absent will be defender Ryan McGivern and striker William Grigg, who will be on international duty with Northern Ireland's Under-21 squad for European Under-21 Championship qualifiers against San Marino and Germany.

Colchester boss John Ward has received a double fitness boost with the news that goalkeeper Ben Williams and winger Ben Coker are close to returning to action.

Former Manchester United trainee Williams has been sidelined with an ankle knock and new signing Coker has been struggling with a similar problem.

Both have returned to training this week, but Ward is cautious about rushing them back into action too soon.

He told his club's official website: "Ben Williams will travel to Walsall and we will consider him for the bench this weekend. He will then play on Wednesday in the reserves against Stevenage."

Ward added: "Coker played a full 90 minutes on Tuesday in an in-house practice game and he'll go with us on Saturday for all of the hard work that he's put in over the past few weeks."

Steven Gillespie (ankle) is doubtful, while John-Joe O'Toole and Morten Knudsen (both knee) are still out.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: