COHEN Bramall is likely to be sidelined for several more weeks with an ankle injury.

But Colchester United are unlikely to bring in defensive reinforcements in this month’s transfer window, with a new forward still at the top of their list of priorities in January.

Bramall has not featured since suffering the injury in the U’s 2-2 draw with Exeter City, in their final game of 2019.

The 23-year-old has already missed Colchester’s last three matches because of the injury and is set for more time out.

Colchester boss John McGreal said: “It’s settled down quite well to be fair, so it’s about monitoring it over the next few weeks.

“Cohen has been out of the ordinary, performance-wise and with the goals, assists, set-piece play and deliveries he’s provided.

“Cohen is desperate to get back quite quickly and no wonder, because he’s been in such good form.”

Colchester are also short at right-back ahead of their game against Macclesfield Town this weekend.

Ryan Jackson is suspended and Paris Cowan-Hall is still sidelined with an Achilles problem but boss McGreal insists he will utilise his current squad accordingly.

McGreal said: “We’ve got injuries at the moment but we’ll go with what we’ve got.

“We’ve got the young lads that have come into it and two young lads (Ryan Clampin and Kwame Poku) who have started (at Morecambe), along with four or five of our younger lads on the bench at the minute.

“We’ll get our heads down and work with we’ve got because they’re good enough and they have a good opportunity now and it’s great experience for them.

“I’ve got a remit of bringing the kids through.

“Ollie Kensdale has come back from a loan at Bath.

“I have to put so many of the kids into the squad each week and Ollie will fall into that bracket.

“You’d like to bring in a bit of competition as we’ve lost Brendan (Wiredu) who can fill that void as well but we’ll have to wait and see.”

Ryan Clampin has performed well at left-back after replacing the injured Bramall in the starting line-up.

The 20-year-old provided the cross for Frank Nouble’s strike, in the U’s 1-1 draw at Morecambe last weekend.

“Clamps has been able to fill in when Cohen has been out,” added McGreal.

“He’s a different type of player but he’ll have to pick the baton up.

“He’s done that OK of late and he’ll have to continue that, because Cohen was in top form.

“Now it’s up to Ryan now to stake a claim and make that position his own.”