Crewe boss Steve Davis has a handful of injury concerns to contend with.
Alex triumphed at in-form Doncaster in midweek, but victory came at a price with Kelvin Mellor, Byron Moore and Abdul Osman all sustaining problems.
Mellor is a doubt having taken a blow to the knee and suffered swelling, while midfielder Osman is once again troubled by his persistent ankle complaint following the Keepmoat Stadium encounter.
Moore is awaiting the results of an x-ray after the winger picked up an injury to his foot.
England Under-19 striker Max Clayton has returned to training following a groin injury but is unlikely to be risked by Davis at this stage of his recovery.
Fellow forward Ajay Leitch-Smith (ankle) remains sidelined alongside teenage winger Ryan Colclough (broken jaw), with the latter pencilled in for a return to training next week.
Sanchez Watt will miss Colchester's trip to Crewe and may well have played his last game for the Essex club.
The on-loan Arsenal winger was forced off with a hamstring injury during last Saturday's FA Cup defeat at non-league neighbours Chelmsford and duly missed Tuesday's 2-0 home defeat to Notts County.
But scans have shown that the injury is much worse than first feared, with a probable tear likely meaning he will not play again for the U's before his agreement comes to an end in January.
Gavin Massey came in for Watt against the Magpies in midweek and will hope to keep his place although he faces competition from Freddie Sears.
Kem Izzet remains sidelined with his long-standing hip injury.