SOUTHEND United centre-back Rob Kiernan has flown to Sweden to visit a knee specialist.

Kiernan - who joined the Shrimpers in the summer - has been out since mid-August with a knee problem.

And Blues boss Phil Brown is hoping the specialist will not recommend the defender has an operation.

“We’re hoping for good news, but if it’s not then Rob might need an operation,” said Brown.

“We want to get to the bottom of it so Rob has gone out to Sweden to see a specialist who is only in London one weekend every two months.

“That shows how seriously we’re taking this. Rob has been doing a course of injections, and he’s on number two of eight, but you never know how the tendons are going to react.

“We will have a clearer picture once Rob has seen the specialist, so we’re keeping our fingers crossed.”

Kiernan has started just one game this season.