O'Toole out for nine months

Scan reveals midfielder suffered ruptured cruciate ligaments

O'Toole: Faces up to nine months out

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Colchester have been dealt a blow with the news that combative midfielder John-Joe O'Toole faces up to nine months on the sidelines.

The 21-year-old had to be stretchered off in the 1-0 defeat at fellow League One high-fliers Charlton on Tuesday.

A scan has now confirmed ruptured cruciate ligaments and he will have knee surgery as soon as the swelling subsides.

Colchester boss Aidy Boothroyd said: "It's a blow for him and a blow for us.

"But it's part and parcel of football and we have to make sure that when he comes back, we're playing in a different league next season."

Procedure

The surgery will be the same procedure which team-mate Morten Knudsen undergoes on Thursday and Boothroyd says the pair will work side by side as they come back.

The Colchester boss added such a long rehabilitation will test O'Toole's mental strength but will ultimately make him stronger when he returns.

He told the club's official website: "John-Joe is already as tough as it goes but this will make him stronger as a person and a player.

"He will be working side by side with Morten and (first team physio) Tony Flynn and they'll be doing all they can to be back in action as soon as possible."