Tom James out long-term as O's hope for players to return for Colchester trip
- Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo
Tom James is out long-term as Leyton Orient deal with Covid crisis but remain focused on the task at hand ahead of Boxing Day clash with Colchester United.
The O’s will travel away to the JobServe Community Stadium on Boxing Day (Sunday) as they bid to bounce back from back-to-back defeats in the League Two for the first time this season.
They were without Alex Mitchell, Theo Archibald and Omar Beckles due to Covid related circumstances while also without the likes of Tom James, Hector Kyprianou and Callum Reilly through injury and Darren Pratley was suspended.
“That’s not good news, he’ll (Tom James) be out for a considerable amount of time, it’s quite a bad hamstring. It could be 12-16 weeks I think,” Jackett said.
“Callum Reilly, Tom James are injured, Darren Pratley suspended. Mitchell, Archibald and Beckles are Covid related. At the moment they haven’t got Covid, but it is Covid related absence. We hope things will clear up for them by Boxing Day.
“We have got a lot out injury wise and through Covid, we understand that, and the rules are if you’ve got 14 then you can play. We’re bang on 14, even medically and the assessment we have is that Paul Smyth is available to play 20 minutes.
“If he can stay back, he’ll be a big player for us in the second-half of the season, and if you’re looking at attack of Harry Smith, Aaron Drinan and then Paul Smyth in behind it is something that I do want to get to.
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“After that it left us with 14 players, so you have to play the game, and that’s where we were.”
The boss is hoping to have Hector Kyprianou back at his disposal for the trip to Colchester and also believes honesty will help get them through this uncertain period with Covid postponing fixtures across the country.
“He should be fit for next week, didn’t quite make it, as you saw he had a grade one tight hamstring but I would expect him to be training and be fit for Boxing Day.
“I think honesty right the way through, we pride ourselves on that as a club, and after that it does come down to vaccines. The vaccine program in a short space of time has proved to be as affective as anything.
“We need to follow that to give us the best chance to keep going and not break."