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Southend United's Marc Laird ruled out for up to two months
SOUTHEND United midfielder Marc Laird has been ruled out for up to two months with the knee injury he suffered during Saturday’s 2-0 win against Northampton Town.
Laird hobbled off on the hour mark during the victory at Roots Hall.
And scan results have now shown the Scotsman will be sidelined for between six and eight weeks with medial ligament damage, much to the disappointment of manager Phil Brown.
“It’s a blow because Marc’s a good player and he had started the season well,” said Brown.
“It’s not as bad as Julian Bennett’s injury and we’re grateful for that because six to eight weeks is certainly much better than six to eight months.
“However, it’s still disappointing even though we do have real competition for places in that area of the pitch.”
Summer signing Conor Clifford replaced Laird after he was injured against North-ampton at the weekend and the Irishman is favourite to replace him in the centre of the park at Chesterfield this weekend.
However, Michael Timlin is also pushing for selection after recovering from the broken leg he suffered at Leyton Orient last February, and the fit-again Kevan Hurst is also available.
Young Jack Payne is another player Brown could call upon but his options are now starting to be reduced as Blues are unable to sign any replacements as they remain under a transfer embargo.
“I think we’re down to 17 players now, with the room to bring in maybe one more,” said Brown.
“It could well be that our young players get an opportunity soon and that’s the way things have to be until the embargo is lifted.
“But we will keep battling on and look to build on the good start we’ve made to the season.”
Shrimpers’ centre-back Mark Phillips is also currently sidelined with a groin problem and was forced to miss the win against Northampton.