SOUTHEND United striker Callum Powell has stepped up his return from a knee injury.

Powell has been out since September since picking up the problem against Aldershot Town.

But Blues boss Kevin Maher is pleased to have welcomed the forward back into training

"He’s joined in training as non-contact and now that’s being built up in terms of his contact training," said Maher.

"It’s important to get a bank of proper, contact training into him before we can look to put him into games and I don’t want to put any pressure on because he’s been out for so long.

"When you’ve been out that long it’s inevitable there will be one or two bumps or bruises when you’re coming back into full-time training.

"He’s doing well and probably better than anyone else would do because of his work-rate and effort he puts in.