Port Vale are without striker Tom Pope for the visit of Southend but influential centre-back Gareth Owen could return.
Despite having recently penned a loan extension, Pope was recalled by parent club Rotherham, who currently find themselves one point and one place behind the Valiants in the table.
But his loss could in part be offset at the other end of the pitch by the comeback of Owen, who missed last weekend`s 2-0 defeat at Chesterfield having hobbled out of the 2-1 win over Lincoln with a recurrence of his hamstring injury.
Vale are hoping he will not have suffered any reaction upon his return to training on Thursday and Friday of this week.
Fellow centre-back John McCombe and midfielder Doug Loft sustained respective back and knee problems against the Spireites but are expected to be okay.