Colchester midfielder David Perkins will miss the visit of his former club Rochdale.

Perkins, who moved from Spotland to Essex in 2008, suffered a hamstring injury during last weekend's 2-1 defeat at Sheffield Wednesday and could struggle to play again this season.

Lloyd James came on for Perkins at Hillsborough but John-Joe O'Toole, now fit again after his long lay-off with a cruciate injury, provides another midfield option.

Centre-halves Pat Baldwin and Magnus Okuonghae remain long-term absentees.

Baldwin is still some way from a return due to an Achilles problem and Okuonghae is out for the season following ankle surgery.

The Us slipped down to 11th following Saturday's setback and are now nine points adrift of the play-offs.

Rochdale manager Keith Hill will again be reluctant to make any changes.

Hill named the same side for the fourth game running in Tuesday's 2-1 win at Notts County and the Spotland boss has no fresh injury or suspension concerns.

The success against the Magpies marked a fifth win from six unbeaten npower League One outings for Dale and lifted them to the brink of the play-off places.

Hill's men lie two points below sixth-placed Bournemouth but have a game in hand on the Cherries.

Yet Hill is remaining guarded about his side's chances of claiming a second successive promotion, saying: "We are proud of where we are, but we aren't getting carried away."

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