SOUTHEND United’s caretaker boss Gary Waddock will not be rushing Tom Hopper back from injury.

Hopper - who has been out for almost a year with a cruciate ligament injury - is now back in training.

But Waddock will not be bringing him back until he is fully ready.

“Tom is training and it would be lovely to call on him but he’s worked very hard to get back and we can’t afford to rush him at the final hurdle,” said Waddock.

“We will arrange a game for him at some point when we get a thumbs up from the medical team at the club who have done a great job with him.

“He’s trained really well and I’ve been really pleased with how he’s gone about his work.”