SOUTHEND United head coach Kevin Maher will be tracking the progress of Lewis Gard following the midfielder’s return to Roots Hall.

Gard is back with Blues following a two month loan spell with Heybridge Swifts.  And Maher will be keeping a close eye on the 22-year-old's performances in training after he regained full fitness.

“Lewis had two bad injuries and he was out for a long, long time,” said the Blues boss.

“For him it was important he went out and played football.

“He’s someone I know and he’s a great lad.

“Hopefully he’s over those injuries now.

“He’s been training with us and it’s good to have him back.”

Gard has not played for the Shrimpers’ first team since October 2020.