SOUTHEND United are gambling on skipper John White’s return to action.
White could play against Newport County at Roots Hall tomorrow night after missing the last four games with a dislocated shoulder.
The right-back has returned to full training after getting the go-ahead from a specialist.
But White has been told if he re-injures his shoulder he would miss the rest of the season.
Southend boss Phil Brown said: “If the shoulder pops out again then John will have to have it pinned and that will be his season over, but it’s only a slight risk.
“There’s as much chance of it happening and there is of someone with no history of shoulder injuries doing it as well and it’s great news that he’s available again.
“John came through a very physical training session with flying colours yesterday and he’s obviously a big player for us so it’s great to see him back.
“We also have the option of playing him at centre-back or left-back and that’s something we’ve also missed during his time in the treatment room.”
White was initially replaced at right-back by Luke O’Neill who signed on loan from Burnley, only for him to pick up a thigh problem on his debut against Chesterfield.
O’Neill is still rated as only 50/50 for Friday’s game with Newport County.
And it is therefore likely that White will do battle with Adam Thompson for a place in the side against the Welshmen.
“Adam has done well there in the last couple of matches even though he’s probably out of position there as he’s more used to being at centre-half,” said Brown.
“You can certainly tell that John has missed playing though and I think a spell on the sidelines does that to any player.
“But we’re all delighted to have him back and it’s certainly given us all a big boost ahead of another very big game with Newport.”