Kurtis Guthrie is ready to make a long-awaited return to Colchester United’s squad ahead of the vital festive programme.

The 24-year-old striker has managed less than an hour of first-team football this season, after suffered a setback in his recover from an ankle injury that kept him out for the final three months of last season.

But Guthrie as now been back in training for some time and could be considered by the U’s for their League Two home clash with Port Vale tomorrow.

Colchester head coach John McGreal said: “He’s trained a lot with the first team over the last ten days to two weeks and done all of his extras, so we’ll be looking to push Kurtis in and around the squad over the festive period.

“He missed playing a game for the under-23s last week but he’s done all of his extra work and he’s someone we’re looking to bring back.

“We’ll see how Kurtis is today but looking how he’s been training, he looks OK.

“He’s been doing a lot of extra gym work and had no reaction touch wood, so it looks positive compared to previous months where he’s had little niggles.

“Those niggles have stopped and we’re hoping that there are no reactions after this tough week of training that we’ve had and he’ll be looking to be if not in and around it, then very close.”