SOUTHEND United centre-back Luke Prosser could return for Saturday’s clash against Bury at Roots Hall.
The influential defender has been sidelined for the past six weeks with a calf strain.
But Blues boss Phil Brown has revealed Prosser could be back to take on the Shakers this weekend.
“Luke has been training on the grass for the past three days and could play some part in the game on Saturday which is obviously good news,” said Brown.
“He will be training with the rest of his team-mates today and will hopefully be back in full training tomorrow.
“If he comes through that with no reaction then he will definitely be in contention for Saturday which will give us all a boost.”
The Shrimpers have not won any of the nine games Prosser has missed through injury.
And Brown has been left severely short of defenders.
Adam Thompson is expected to be out for another week with his calf injury but Julian Bennett is likely to miss the rest of the season with cruciate ligament damage.
Brown has therefore moved to bring centre-back Jakub Sokolik to the club on loan from Liverpool for the rest of the season.
And the Czech defender would have started at Scunthorpe on Tuesday had he not been stuck in traffic on the M62.
“Jakub didn’t get to the game until 7.05 due to traffic problems but the two centre-backs did a good job in the end,” said Brown.
“We’ve been impressed by Jakub so it’s great to have brought him in and with Luke getting back fit we finally have options again at the back which is something we’ve been lacking.
“Hopefully we can keep them fit now and we can have that cover and competition we need to succeed in the closing stages of the season.”