LUKE Norris has revealed he has returned to the Colchester United first-team squad in half the estimated recovery time, following his knee injury.

Norris is set to travel with the U’s squad to Barrow for their League Two clash, after recovering from the knee injury he sustained at the start of pre-season.

The 27-year-old was told he would probably face around three months on the sidelines after suffering the injury on the third day of pre-season, in early August.

However, the striker is back after six weeks out having worked hard building up his fitness at Florence Park – and could feature for the first time this season at Holker Street tomorrow.

Norris said: “It’s felt like an eternity since I last played.

“We came back for the play-offs which was nice to get back into it.

“We had a bit more time, came back in and then third day, ‘bang – have that’.

“It wasn’t very good, considering the numbers and really the only forward at the club, so it was a real downer.

“But it’s nice to finally be back and I think the boys have done terrific, to be fair.

“I was told 12 weeks and it was actually six weeks and one day, to be precise.

“I’ve got to give thanks to Greg (Barnes) the physio here.

“We worked really, really hard – it was a tough few weeks but I’ve managed to do it and get outside with no setbacks and so far, touch wood it’s been perfect.”

Norris says he has been impressed by Colchester’s early-season performances, so far.

The U’s have taken four points from a possible six in League Two, having beaten Bolton Wanderers and drawn at Bradford City.

“A few people doubted after seeing the boys who left,” said Norris, who has scored 19 goals for the U’s since joining them from Swindon Town in June, 2018.

“They played a lot of games for us and they were big players for us.

“Some have been replaced and some haven’t but it’s a credit to the lads who played and some of the young lads have done terrific.

“We saw it with Kwame last year and we’ve sort of set that standard now.

“We’ve played two of the biggest teams in the league and have taken four points out of six and two clean sheets and unbeaten, so there’s not a lot more you can ask for.”

Colchester will be aiming to maintain their fine start to the league season when they make the long journey to EFL new boys Barrow tomorrow.

Norris added: “It’s a team that’s come up from the Conference and they’ll be looking to show why they deserve to be in the Football League.

“But we’ll be going there on a high.”