Southend boss Phil Brown admitted he was battling a ‘defensive crisis’ last week before facing Rochdale, so injury updates were on the agenda at his Thursday press conference ahead of Charlton Athletic.
But the Blues chief was a lot more optimistic this week on the likes of captain Anton Ferdinand, John White, Stephen Hendrie and Anthony Wordsworth.
“The long term ones are still in there but Woody has been on the training ground this week joining in with the first team warm-ups and first team training sessions to a certain extent which has been a breath of fresh air.
“Seeing him out there, seeing the quality that I’ve been missing and knowing full well that’s it’s just around the corner.
“Anton has had a good week and hopefully he will do something today with the first team training session and then train fully tomorrow and be involved on Saturday. The same with John White.
“Stephen Hendrie has just got easier as the week has gone on with regards to the impact injury he picked up on Saturday, so I’m more or less confident that Stephen will make the party.
“If you wanted to talk percentages, I would say Woody is about 25 per cent, John White and Anton were about 75 per cent and would say Stephen [Hendrie] is 100 per cent.
On the more long term absentees such as Michael Turner and Rob Kiernan, Brown added: “Michael’s coming along very slowly to tell you the truth. We had a scan last week and the tear is still there.
“It is improving. It was about a five centimetre tear but it’s down to two centimetres now. It’s right in the tendon of the hamstring and that’s probably the worst place for it.
“I’m hopeful in the next two weeks he will be out the treatment room and putting himself forward.
“We’ve had a bit more intensive treatment with regards to Rob Kiernan and I’m hoping Rob is going to come to the party sooner than Michael.
“Everyone is moving in the right direction but it’s a slow process when you’re a manager thinking about the size and the quality of players we’ve got in the treatment room.”