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Southend United's Freddy Eastwood injures back getting out of chair
FREDDY Eastwood is a serious doubt for tomorrow’s FA Cup clash against Stockport County after injuring his back getting out of a chair.
The Southend United striker made a rare start in last Saturday’s 0-0 draw with York City at Roots Hall.
And he could now be forced to give up his place in the team due to injury.
“Freddy is a real doubt for the game this weekend because he’s suffering with his back,” confirmed Blues boss Paul Sturrock.
“He actually did it standing up from a chair and he will be having a late check on his fitness but it doesn’t look good for his chances at the moment.”
Even if Eastwood is passed fit, Blues will be forced in to making at least one change to their strike-force as the on-loan Britt Assombalonga has been denied permission to play by his parent club Watford.
Assombalonga is Southend’s top scorer this season with nine goals to his name.
But the youngster has now gone three games without a goal and has been below his best in the last couple of games.
And Sturrock therefore feels a rest may well do Assombalonga good.
“I have mixed feelings about Britt not playing but I think he will actually benefit from not playing,” said Sturrock.
“It’s a blow he’s not playing because he’s our top goalscorer but I think he will come back for Tuesday’s game at Bristol Rovers as a completely different player.
“He’s played a lot of football in a short space of time and I think a mini break like this is probably what he needs.”
With Assombalonga out of action, Gavin Tomlin looks set to return to featuring as a forward while Jonson Clarke-Harris, Barry Corr and Elliot Benyon will battle it out to feature alongside him.
Defender Luke Prosser and midfielder Ryan Leonard are both also available after recovering from injury and Michael Timlin will be back in training today.
The midfielder has missed Blues’ last two games with an ankle problem and will face a late fitness test before tomorrow’s game.