Kurtis Guthrie has been given the green light to keep working on his fitness levels and edge nearer another Colchester United comeback.

The 24-year-old made a long-awaited return to first-team action in late September, after seven months out after ankle surgery.

But after coming on as a late substitute in the U’s 1-0 win at Yeovil Town and playing 45 minutes in their Checkatrade Trophy game against Gillingham, he felt discomfort where the operation had taken place and has not featured since.

Guthrie returned to the specialist but X-rays came back all clear and he has now resumed working on his strength and fitness levels.

Writing in the club’s official matchday programme, U’s head physio Tony Flynn said: “Kurtis Guthrie was feeling a bit of pain in and around where he had surgery so went back to the specialist to take a precautionary look.

“The specialist was happy with the repair but a scan showed there was some slight irritation of the muscles at the top of the ankle joint.

“The X-ray, another precaution, came back all clear which was good news and Kurtis can now continue working on his fitness levels and building up the strength in and around the affected area.

“We aren’t too far away but we won’t rush that final step.”

Meanwhile, captain Luke Prosser is taking part in similar exercises as he bids to recover from his injury nightmare.

A year has now elapsed since the experienced defender last featured for Colchester, after he underwent two knee operations.

There is light at the end of the tunnel for Prosser but Flynn has stressed his recovery will not be rushed.

He said: “Luke is doing plenty of running and physical work but is also working hard on strengthening the whole knee in readiness for a return.

“He is obviously getting very impatient and just wants to be out there again but we have to ensure he is right before he takes that final step.”