JAMES Olayinka will delay an operation on his groin injury in a bid to help Southend United stay up.

The midfielder, who is with Blues on loan from Arsenal, has been hindered by the injury for most of the season.

But Shrimpers boss Mark Molesley is hopeful Olayinka will still be able to play a part in his side’s remaining six matches.

“James is probably going to need some kind of intervention with the injury but we’re hoping to do that at the end of the season,” said the Blues chief.

“He had a chance of coming to the game on Tuesday but he wasn’t fit enough unfortunately.

“He wasn’t quite sprinting right but hopefully we’ll get some work into him on Thursday and Friday and see whether he can be in contention for Saturday’s match with Crawley.

“We’ll certainly be doing our best to keep him fit and then we’ll sort out that problem at the end of the season.”

Olayinka has missed Southend’s last two matches with the groin injury having previously been sidelined for two months with an ankle issue.

But the 20-year-old should soon be back in action.

“It’s something you can play on with but it can be quite sore when it’s inflamed,” explained Molesley.

“At the moment Arsenal are happy for him to play when he’s a bit more pain free and we all want to try and get him through it.

"It’s going to be on his pain threshold and he’s a got chance of being involved on Saturday.

“We’ll have to see how it goes but he will need an operation as there’s a groin issue which might need a small bit of micro surgery.”

Olayinka has scored three goals in 18 games for the Shrimpers this season.