Southend United's Marc Laird fit to figure against Torquay United, but is likely to be on bench (From Echo)
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Southend United's Marc Laird fit to figure against Torquay United, but is likely to be on bench
11:42am Friday 15th March 2013 in Sport
MARC Laird looks set to return to Southend United’s squad for tomorrow’s game against Torquay United at Roots Hall.
The 27-year-old midfielder has missed Blues’ last seven matches with a hamstring injury he suffered against Cheltenham Town at the beginning of February.
But the Scotsman has now resumed training and could well be back on the bench this weekend.
“I’ve trained with the squad this week and there are no problems with my hamstring now,” said Laird.
“I feel fit and ready to play again so I would love to be involved again tomorrow but it’s up to the manager what he decides to do.”
Laird returned to full training at the start of the week after gradually increasing his work-load.
And he is keen to avoid a repeat of what happened when he first returned to action from the original hamstring problem he suffered at Exeter City in January.
“I’m not sure whether or not I came back too soon last time or not but I’ve had more training this time,” said Laird.
“I think I trained once before the Cheltenham game and went straight back in to the side.
“But this time I’ve trained all week, I’ve suffered no problems or reactions to upping the work load and I’m confident it will be fine to play tomorrow.
“I want to play too because it’s an important game and, after the disappointment of Tuesday night against Wimbledon, we definitely need to get the three points.”
However, Blues boss Paul Sturrock is unlikely to put Laird straight back in to the starting line-up against Torquay.
“I may be rushed him back before and did the same with Mark Phillips and Chris Barker so this time we will be doing it softly, softly with Marc,” said Sturrock.
“Unless I have a few too many drinks just before the game then Marc will be on the bench this weekend and it will be good to have him back.”
Blues will definitely still be without Chris Barker (Achilles), Mark Phillips (broken toe), Michael Timlin (broken leg) and Gavin Tomlin (thigh).
Centre-back Luke Prosser is also out suspended after being shown his 10th yellow card of the season during Tuesday’s 3-1 defeat to AFC Wimbledon.
Bilel Mohsni is therefore likely to be selected at centre-back with either Barry Corr or Neil Harris being handed a recall in attack.