SOUTHEND United midfielder Anthony Wordsworth is nearing a return from a hamstring injury but is unlikely to feature at Rotherham United tomorrow.

Wordsworth is close to making a comeback from the problem he picked up towards the end of last season.

But, despite being buoyed by the influential midfielder’s impending comeback, Blues boss Phil Brown is reluctant to risk the 28-year-old against the Millers.

“Woody will be on the coach to Rotherham for the game this weekend but whether or not he will be in the matchday squad is a different question,” said Brown.

“You always want your best players out on the pitch and Woody is certainly one of them.

“He can win you a game and his creativity is something I want out there.”

Wordsworth - who also missed the start of last season with a hamstring problem - did not feature during pre-season.

And Brown believes the goal-getter will need to feature in another fixture before featuring again for the first team.

“It’s only a matter time until he’s back and I’m counting down the days but he probably needs a game before he comes back in for a first-team game,” said Brown.

“He needs to play in a behind closed doors game or maybe for the under 23s game on Wednesday next week before he steps things up again.

“I think that’s the most sensible way to move forward.”

Wordsworth bagged 12 goals in 36 starts for the Shrimpers last season.