Colchester forward Ashley Vincent's injury is not as bad as first feared although he will still be sidelined for six weeks.
Vincent broke the deadlock in last Saturday's 1-1 draw against Wycombe before being forced off just before half-time having twisted his left knee.
Initial concerns of a ruptured cruciate were ruled out following the results of scans, but the 26-year-old has suffered ligament and muscle damage.
Physio Tony Flynn told the club's official website: "It's disappointing for Ashley and the manager that he will be missing for that long but a relief that it wasn't more serious. Ashley has suffered a cruciate tear before and knows the recovery process is a long and hard one so he's relatively pleased with the news."
Meanwhile, the U's have been handed a big boost after Andy Bond successfully came through 90 minutes for the club's reserves in a 2-2 draw against West Ham on Wednesday afternoon.
The midfielder has not featured since sustaining a serious head injury in a pre-season friendly against Ipswich. Goalkeeper Ben Williams, making his return after a vital infection, took a steadier approach to his comeback as he played 45 minutes.