Shrimpers sweating on duo
Southend will leave it as late as possible ahead of their crunch clash at home to Cheltenham before making a decision on the fitness of Chris Barker and Mark Phillips although fellow defender Ryan Cresswell definitely sits out due to suspension.
Barker and Phillips both missed Saturday's 1-1 draw at Accrington with respective calf and toe injuries.
And manager Paul Sturrock's defensive dilemma deepened when centre-back Cresswell was given his marching orders shortly after the hour mark, meaning he now starts a three-match ban.
The Scot, already without leading scorer Gavin Tomlin (thigh) and midfielder Michael Timlin (broken leg), is also sweating over further bumps and bruises among his squad.
Elliot Benyon on Monday rejoined Torquay on a one-month loan deal and so will not be involved.
The seventh-placed Shrimpers go in the clash just two points and two places behind Cheltenham in the table.
Cheltenham boss Mark Yates is expected to make a number of changes to his starting line-up after a disappointing defeat to Dagenham on Saturday.
The Robins chief was not happy with his side's performance against John Still's men and he could turn to second-half substitutes Marlon Pack and Byron Harrison, who both looked lively following their introductions, as he looks to get back to winning ways.
The only definite absentee is Harry Hooman who has undergone surgery on a damaged bone in his foot and a ligament at the base of a toe.
Left-back Billy Jones came through his return to the side unscathed after recovering from a thigh injury and he is set to continue in the XI as Cheltenham look for only their second win since Boxing Day.
Southend ran out 3-1 winners when the sides met earlier this season.