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Leyton Orient positive about Jobi McAnuff's fitness after seeing 'better response' to nerve injury over the last week

PUBLISHED: 10:00 12 March 2018 | UPDATED: 10:03 12 March 2018

Leyton Orient stand-in captain Jobi McAnuff picks up Aldershot Town rival James Rowe (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Leyton Orient stand-in captain Jobi McAnuff picks up Aldershot Town rival James Rowe (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Simon O'Connor Photography

The influential winger had played an integral part in helping the E10 outfit move away from the bottom four, but hasn’t featured since February 3

Leyton Orient head coach Justin Edinburgh is hopeful Jobi McAnuff will be back on the pitch for the club sooner rather than later.

The 36-year-old has not played for the O’s since February 3 after suffering what was initially believed to be a neck injury at Dover Athletic in the FA Trophy third round.

It was later diagnosed as a deep nerve problem and after close to six weeks without playing competitively, McAnuff is now edging closer to a return, although it seems this week’s clash with Torquay United may come a little too soon.

“We have had to go through a procedure, so he had medication because they wouldn’t inject the area before that – it is protocol for the nerve injury he had,” said Edinburgh.

“He has now had the injection and we are seeing a better response and he was out on the grass for a couple of days before Saturday.

“We are positive with him now and think we are coming out the other side of it. I think Tuesday is possibly too early for him, but Jobi’s a fit boy, so who knows.”

McAnuff’s return will be a big boost for Orient, who saw their winless run stretch to four games on Saturday, though they demonstrated a good response during the 1-1 draw with Ebbsfleet United after last week’s FA Trophy defeat at Gateshead.

The disappointing 3-2 quarter-final loss last Tuesday saw O’s chances of claiming silverware this season all but over.

Edinburgh, and his coaching staff, held a meeting with the players two days after the loss and he is pleased they have a foundation to work with ahead of hosting struggling Torquay tomorrow (Tuesday).

He added: “On Thursday we said we have a duty to our fans and ourselves to win as many game as we possibly can between now and the end of the season and we’ve given ourselves a foundation to do that with Saturday’s result.”

One player looking to make his mark over the next few weeks is recent recruit Marvin Ekpiteta, who signed for the club on January 31 from East Thurrock United.

The young defender initially returned to the Rocks on loan for the rest of the campaign, but was recalled by Orient last month and made his debut during the 1-0 loss at Dover on March 3.

With O’s having some injury troubles in defence and the likes of Jamie Sendles-White and Aron Pollock leaving recently, Ekpiteta will remain at his parent club for the remainder of the season.

“Yes Marvin is with us permanently now,” said Edinburgh. “We needed him involved because we were short on numbers and this is his club now and I’m looking forward to working with him going forward.”

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