SOUTHEND United’s in-form centre-back Luke Prosser has been ruled out of tonight’s clash with Newport County with a fractured cheekbone and concussion.

Prosser suffered the double blow during Tuesday night’s 1-1 draw at Dagenham & Redbridge.

But Blues boss Phil Brown revealed that the defender’s spell on the sidelines is likely to be shortened by him wearing a specially made protective mask.

“It’s a big blow that we’re going to be without Luke for the game with the injuries he suffered in the game with Dagenham but hopefully it will only be the one game he will miss,” said Brown.

“We are having a mask made for him that will protect the cheekbone he’s injured and will mean he’s able to play before that actually gets better.

“It’s therefore only the concussion he needs to recover from and hopefully that will only take a week and he will be available to play against Mansfield in our next game.”

Prosser’s injury leaves Blues with just two fit natural centre-backs for tonight’s game with Newport – Adam Thompson and Mark Phillips.

The Shrimpers do have right-back John White available again after he recovered from a dislocated shoulder.

But Brown is also working hard to try and bring another defender to the club before the transfer window closes this evening.

“We’re looking at a few options but right now there’s nothing definite in place to report on,” said the Shrimpers chief.

“I think we have until midday today to bring someone in if they are to play tonight but it’s not long until we’re also able to bring people in on loan so today isn’t really our last chance to bring someone in.”

Brown added he would love to bring Rob Kiernan back to the club on loan after the centre-back enjoyed a successful temporary stint with the Shrimpers from Wigan Athletic earlier on in the season.

However, Brown believes that is unlikely to happen.

“It would be great if we could rekindle a deal for Rob but that’s dead at the moment so we’re looking around to see who else is available,” added Brown.

Blues go in to the game sixth in the League Two table, two places and eight points above Newport who also have two games in hand.