Jamie Devitt looks set to return for Carlisle United at Colchester – after recovering from Covid-19.

Manager Paul Simpson said the midfielder has trained this week having missed the opening game of the season with the virus.

Devitt was sidelined shortly after signing a new deal at Brunton Park but looks set to bolster Simpson’s numbers for the trip to Essex.

“He seems ok,” Simpson said.

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“He’s going to be a little bit short in terms of match fitness because he missed a spell out.

“You never know how Covid affects people. He had a positive Covid test, but he did his isolation period, and he’s done a couple of runs on his own early in the week and was fine for them.

“In fact, one day we told him to do one run and he went and did two. It shows how keen he is to get himself right.

“He’s trained with us today, he will train again on Friday, and barring anything happening between now and then he’ll be involved at the weekend.”

Simpson also said Callum Guy is fit to continue despite coming off late in the Crawley Town victory.

“He’s fine,” the manager said of the midfield man. “I think he took a whack on his calf but it was more just cramp.

“I like that, because it tells me they’re working hard.”

Simpson is without ex-Colchester man Brennan Dickenson to a long-term injury after a scan revealed a tear to his cruciate knee ligament.

Tobi Sho-Silva (hamstring) is still out, but new signing Jayden Harris is likely to be in the squad for the first time this weekend.

On Dickenson, Simpson said: “He’s got an appointment with an orthopaedic surgeon at 5pm today, so we’ll get more info as to what the next stage is for him.

“We have a good idea of what is going to be recommended but we’ve just got to wait for the expert opinion on that.

“It’s a massive blow for Brennan and for us as a group. He’s worked really hard through pre-season, I’ve been really pleased with what I’ve seen from him.

“Sadly it’s the downside of professional football that these things happen and he’s going to be out for a number of months now.

“If he doesn’t have surgery we’re looking at probably three to four months. If he does it’s generally nine months for an ACL repair job.

“It’s a huge blow and we’ve got to make sure we look after him now.”

Simpson said that, while Taylor Charters is getting closer to a return, he would like to bring in another left-sided player in light of Dickenson’s absence.

“I would like to get some cover in. Over the next maybe four weeks I think we should have Taylor Charters back into training with us so he’ll come back into the reckoning,” he said.

“One thing we are a little bit short is in that left side of defence, so it’s an area we’re looking to do.

“It’s just a matter of whether the players we’ve identified are going to be available and allowed to come out or not.”