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Southend United goalkeeper Paul Smith pushing for recall at Plymouth Argyle
SOUTHEND United goalkeeper Paul Smith is pushing for a recall between the sticks at Plymouth Argyle tomorrow.
The 32-year-old is rated 50/50 for the game at Home Park after being knocked out during Blues’ 1-0 defeat at Gillingham 10 days.
But, despite having made a good recovery, Smith does not yet know if he will be ready to return against the Pilgrims.
“I think normally with head injuries and concussion you’re out for two weeks but I’m feeling OK at the moment so will have to wait and see,” said Smith.
“Of course I’d like to play but only if I get the all clear from medical staff because it’s one of those things you have to be careful about.”
Smith was unconscious against the Gills and received nine minutes of treatment on the pitch before being taken to Gillingham hospital.
"But he remembers nothing about the clash with Deon Burton which led to him being stretchered off.
“I can recall the warm up and kicking a few back passes at the start of the game but that’s all,” said Smith.
“I don’t remember the incident at all, but from looking at the replays on television it doesn’t look a very good challenge.
“All the medical staff were brilliant though and so was the Gillingham doctor and everyone at the hospital.
“I’d like to say a massive thank you to all of them but this won’t play on my mind in future matches.”
Daniel Bentley will continue in goal if Smith fails to recover but there are also injury doubts over centre-back Mark Phillips after he was also injured against the Gills.
Phillips was forced off just before the break following a nasty challenge from Bradley Dack but he is hoping to be back to face Plymouth.
“My aim is to return on Saturday and hopefully that can happen,” said the 30-year-old defender.
“It was a really bad challenge which led to my injury and if I hadn’t got out the way like I did I think it would have broken my leg.
“But luckily the injury isn’t too serious and if I do miss the game tomorrow I won’t be out for much longer than that.”
Striker Gavin Tomlin will also face a late fitness test on a groin problem but Neil Harris is definitely out with a knee injury.