Southend left-back Peter Gilbert is determined to be involved in the first team again this season despite recently undergoing an operation to cure his hernia problem.
The 27-year-old has not featured for the Shrimpers since suffering an ankle injury against Lincoln in mid-March. He could have returned sooner but decided to have surgery on the hernia that has plagued him for some time.
After opting for the treatment he was expected to miss the rest of the season but Gilbert seems set on playing some part in United's last five games of the current campaign.
He told the Southend Echo: "I don't want to end my season on the treatment table.
"Ideally I want to get back and play and hopefully that can happen. At the same time, it's important not to push it and we won't be taking any risks.
"I didn't want to miss games but it got to the stage when I was struggling to walk when I woke up in the morning. The pain was just too much and I just couldn't have played with it any longer, so surgery was unfortunately the only option."