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Orient boss pleased 'top player' Lee will be back quickly

PUBLISHED: 14:30 12 November 2018 | UPDATED: 16:36 12 November 2018

Charlie Lee is denied by Havant & Waterlooville goalkeeper Ben Dudzinski, but team-mate Josh Coulson did put in the rebound (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Charlie Lee is denied by Havant & Waterlooville goalkeeper Ben Dudzinski, but team-mate Josh Coulson did put in the rebound (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Simon O'Connor Photography

The O's head coach discussed Dale Gorman's performance at AFC Fylde in Charlie Lee's absence

Justin Edinburgh is delighted Leyton Orient midfielder Charlie Lee will only miss a couple of weeks and not months with the injury he picked up away to AFC Fylde on November 3.

The 31-year-old went down early on at Mill Farm and James Brophy needed to replace him in the 10th minute.

Orient recovered from losing Lee to triumph 3-1 and as a result moved up to second in the National League standing and more good news arrived days later, on November 6, when the club confirmed he had only suffered a grade-1 MCL injury.

Initially it was feared to be anterior cruciate ligament damage (ACL) again, which was the injury the ex-Stevenage midfielder suffered in August 2017 and kept him out for eight months, but it was only medial collateral ligament damage this time.

Edinburgh said: “I’m really pleased for Charlie. At first we thought it would be a long-term thing and his reaction was the worry of what he has recently been through.

“We are delighted it is only going to be two to three weeks because he’s been a big part of what we’ve done so far.

“He’s a big character and a top player, so the outcome is the best we could have hoped for and I’m really pleased for him because he’s worked so hard to get back playing and playing to a level we didn’t expect him to reach so soon.”

In Lee’s absence, Gorman stepped up to the plate and showed what he is capable of in one of his longest run outs of the campaign to date.

The former Northern Ireland under-21 international has had to be patient at O’s after signing in the summer halfway through his recovery from a fractured ankle.

Gorman, who played with Lee at Stevenage, didn’t make his first Orient appearance until August 25 when he came off the bench at Gateshead.

He made his full debut for the E10 outfit away to Maidstone United almost two months later - on October 20 - in the fourth qualifying round of the FA Cup.

Since moving on a free transfer from Stevenage this summer, Gorman has played on 10 occasions for Orient and the win at Fylde was among his best displays.

Given the fixture with Bromley on Saturday will probably come too soon for Lee, it should be another opportunity for the tenacious midfielder to impress in what will likely be his first start at home.

“We saw what Dale was capable of at Fylde,” Edinburgh said, when asked about the 22-year-old Gorman.

“A lot of players have had to be patient of late, but I always say when they do get their opportunity, they are coming into a team playing well, so it should be easier for them to perform and I think that showed in Dale’s performance.

“It was a seamless transition into the team and he played very well, so someone else’s misfortune is someone else’s opportunity and when you get an opportunity you have to take it and with his performance at Fylde he certainly did.”

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