Southend United have been boosted by the news that full-back Steven Hammell's leg injury is not as bad as was first feared.
The 25-year-old Scotsman was injured during a pre-season clash with Crawley Town, but a subsequent scan has show no broken bones just strained tendons.
Manager Steve Tilson told the club's official website: "It's obviously better news than we were first fearing.
"Losing Stevie for a month this close to the start of the season isn't the best of preparations, but it could have been a lot worse."
Hammell moved to Roots Hall just over a year ago from Motherwell and was a regular for the Shrimpers last season.