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February 7, 2017

Southend United manager, Phil Brown expects defender Anton Ferdinand to be fit to play as his side face Charlton Athletic this weekend, despite the 31-year old suffering an ankle injury in Boxing day encounter against AFC Wimbledon.

The defender appeared to be limping late on in 3-0 win over The Dons.

But Brown does not think the centre-back will be forced onto the sidelines.

“Anton took a whack to the ankle at the end of the Wimbledon game and it caused him a lot of discomfort. We will monitor the situation through the week but he won’t miss the Charlton game which is good news for us because he is a big player for us,” he said.

Ferdinand, who began his career at West Ham United and later joined Sunderland for $8 million, joined the Shrimpers as a free agent in late August and has been hugely impressive at the heart of the back four. The former Queens Park Rangers defender has also skippered the side in recent weeks and Brown believes because he has been very influential in turning the Championship club’s fortune around having lost once in about 17 games across all competition which have featured the defender including four clean sheets in the last six games.

The club has seen first choice goal keeper, Mark Oxley face up to a month on the sideline after hyper-extending his elbow in training, so 20-year-old Ted Smith is again set to deputize. Forward, Nile Ranger has also been nursing a groin injury and will be assessed, while David Mooney and Ben Coker (both ankle) remain on the sidelines alongside on loan Crystal Palace defender, Ryan Inniss, who is out after needing a shoulder surgery.

On the back of his fine form, Ferdinand would hope his contract is extended as his one-year deal with Southend expires this season.