Brennan Dickenson is 'chomping at the bit' to return to action as soon as possible, according to Colchester United head coach John McGreal.

And the U's boss reckons the winger is now looking even more powerful than he did before he suffered his serious knee injury, last April.

Dickenson has been out for more than nine months following the cruciate injury but returned to action last week when he played for the final half hour of Colchester under-23s' 4-3 Premier League Cup defeat at the hands of Swansea City, at the Weston Homes Community Stadium.

The former Brighton and Hove Albion and Gillingham man, who was the U's Player of the Year last season, is scheduled to return to first-team action by the end of next month.

McGreal said: “Brennan is such a talented player.

“The way he’s been performing in training, he’s got his speed back and he looks even more powerful.

“He’s exciting the coaches who have been working with him and even the sports scientists with the areas where he’s improved physically, if he had to, is there to see.

“He’ll be chomping at the bit - we always thought that he would be back around the middle to end of February and it’s still looking that way.

“It’s just about him getting game time now and that contact that he needs.

“We’re hoping that he’ll be like a new signing for us, if he doesn’t have any setbacks.

“We have to be very careful with the next stage and the games that we want to put him into."