Southend United midfielder Ryan Leonard will miss Saturday’s trip to Glanford Park and is set to face 10 weeks on the sidelines with a knee injury he sustained during last Saturday’s 3-0 home win against Colchester.
Leonard picked up the problem following a tackle from Colchester’s Alex Gilbey, who was shown a red card in the resulting melee.
A disappointed Shrimpers manager Phil Brown has revealed the 23-year-old will now not be back in action until mid-April after scans revealed medial ligament damage.
“It’s not good news where Lenny is concerned I’m afraid and he’s going to be out of action for two to three months,” said Brown.
“The original diagnosis is 10 weeks after the scans showed there was medial ligament damage and it’s very disappointing because Lenny is a very important player for us.
“I think he’s played more matches than any other outfield player in our squad this season and he does a great job in there.
“But the only saving grace is that Ryan had his leg planted at the moment of impact because otherwise he would have been out for at last six months”.
The Southend boss has plenty of other options in the middle of the park and was boosted by the return of Anthony Wordsworth (injury) against Colchester.
Ex Iron loanee Michael Timlin returns to the squad ahead of Saturday’s game after missing the local derby with the U’s through suspension.