SOUTHEND United winger Sam Barratt is still a little way off returning to action, according to boss Kevin Bond.

The winger has been out of action for 12 months after suffering a cruciate ligament injury last season.

But Bond will not be able to call upon the 23-year-old for the next couple of months.

"Sam is progressing OK but he’s a little way off," said Bond.

"How many weeks and months he’s going to be I’m not sure but he’s nowhere near imminent and in my terms, which looks at games, it will be longish term still."

Barratt joined Blues last summer but made just one appearance before picking up the serious injury in an under 23 clash against Stevenage.