SOUTHEND United defender Rob Kiernan will be missing for at least the next two months after having an operation on his knee.

Kiernan has been out of action since early August.

And Blues boss Phil Brown does not expect the centre-back to return until December after a specialist in Sweden recommended he underwent surgery.

“Rob is back from Sweden and he’s had an operation,” said Brown.

“He’s had part of his tendon shaved and he’s going to be immobilised for the next two weeks.

“We’ll assess it after that but he’s limping around at the moment and it’s a setback from the initial diagnosis when he could have gone through a course of injections to get back fit.

“Unfortunately they didn’t work and it’s set us back a couple of months to tell you the truth.

“We went down one line which didn’t work and now we’ve had to go down another, which is the operation.

“The good news is it looks like it’s been a success and he’s in a good place at the moment.

“But he won’t be anywhere near to coming back in the next six to eight weeks.”

Kiernan joined Blues from Rangers in the summer but has been able to make just one start so far this season.

His ongoing absence has caused problems at the heart of the back four, with Michael Turner also suffering an injury.

However, the experienced defender is now back in training along with winger Michael Kightly, who has missed the last eight games with a hamstring problem.

But Brown has yet to decide whether or not to name the fit-again duo in his squad for tomorrow night’s game with Peterborough United.

“Both of them trained today and will train tomorrow and then we will see with regards to the Peterborough game,” said Brown.

“I could take a chance due to having an already depleted squad but if I make the wrong decision we run the risk of them becoming long-term injuries again, which would take us back to square one.

“It’s a balancing act between a low risk and a high risk but at the moment it has to be low.”

Blues will definitely be without Ben Coker (broken leg), Anton Ferdinand (suspended), Jermaine McGlashan (suspended) and Harry Kyprianou (thigh) for tomorrow's clash at Roots Hall.