Sammie Szmodics is ready to hand Colchester United a boost and return for their crucial clash with Barnet on Saturday.

The U’s leading scorer has been suffering from a back problem which caused him to miss their 1-0 defeat at Crewe Alexandra, last weekend.

Szmodics has been suffering from spasms and tightness in the lower part of his back since scoring in Colchester’s 2-0 win at Crawley Town, on Boxing Day.

The 22-year-old has not started any of Colchester’s last four matches but is expected to train today, following a meeting with osteopath Mark Piper.

Szmodics told the Daily Gazette: “It’s something that I’ve had for a while and when I was playing with it, I was getting through it.

“I didn’t travel to Crewe though and I’ve been resting it for the last week.

“I haven’t trained in the early part of this week but I’m feeling better and I’m hoping to train today and be available for the Barnet game.

“It’s not been awfully bad and I’ve just been managing it as much as I can but I was going out there not feeling 100 per cent mobile.

“I wasn’t feeling as lively as I usually do and it was affecting my performances but when you’re a 22 year-old who is scoring goals, you just want to carry on doing that.

“The specialist has been a massive help.

“He’s said it’s still not 100 per cent and he wants to see me a couple more times but he’s said I can train.”

Szmodics had been in red-hot form prior to suffering the back problem, scoring five goals in five games in December which landed him the League Two Player of the Month award.

But he has hit the net just once in seven appearances since then, having seen his game time cut short.

“I’ve been quite lucky this season in terms of injuries but this came when I was scoring goals, so it didn’t come at the best time for me,” said the former Stanway School pupil.

Meanwhile, Szmodics insists all of his focus is on performing well for Colchester after he ended up staying at his home town club in last month’s transfer window.

The talented attacker, who has scored 13 times for the U’s this season, had been linked with the likes of Bournemouth and Millwall but no move was forthcoming.

He added: “It’s good to be spoken about like that.

“Nothing happened in January and I just want to keep playing and enjoying my football and helping Colchester do well.

“It’s a big game for us on Saturday against Barnet.

“We lost at the weekend and they lost on Tuesday night to Carlisle, so both teams will be going into the game looking for a win.

“With the football that we’re playing, I’m confident that we can get the result that we’re looking for.”