Ben Stevenson has graduated from being one of the least experienced central midfielders in Colchester United's squad, to becoming the most experienced fit midfielder, within the space of just a few weeks.
Colchester United's Tom Lapslie will be out for at least another three weeks, while fellow midfielders Harry Pell and Brandon Comley are still struggling with injuries, ahead of Saturday's home clash with Newport County.
Colchester United face a real test of their automatic promotion credentials when they take on fellow top-six side Newport County in South Wales this afternoon, not least because they are weakened by injuries, suspension and unavailability.
Fringe first-teamers Diaz Wright, Ollie Kensdale and Cameron James could all be involved at Newport County tomorrow, against Welsh hosts who are sixth in the table, but have only won one of their last seven league games.
Colchester United have a more physical look to them for this coming season, and that should stand them in good stead as they try and secure promotion from League Two, at the third time of asking, following relegation in 2016.