Bennett keen to boost Shrimpers

Julian Bennett is hoping to play some part in Southend's promotion push having stepped up his recovery from injury.

The defender has not featured in Sky Bet League Two for the Shrimpers this season having ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament on his debut in the Capital One Cup defeat against Yeovil in August.

But the 29-year-old has started running again and has the aim of playing for Phil Brown's men before the end of the campaign.

"It would be great to play some part in the season, whether that is the last few games or the play-offs if that's where we end up, but it's all about how things go over the next few weeks," Bennett told the club's official website.

"When you are in the gym every day and spending time on the treatment table it does get to you, but it also makes you stronger as a person.

"But once you get back out running you immediately feel more involved because you're out on the grass while the rest of the lads are training.

"Obviously you're not involved in that yet, but you know you're getting close to the goal of being fit and available for selection again, which gives you hope.

"The lease of life you get pushes you on. I've been working as hard as possible but I know there's still some way to go so it's just about doing everything possible at this stage."