Stephen Humphrys set to start as Southend target survival against Sunderland

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Southend boss Kevin Bond could call upon striker Stephen Humphrys (David Davies/PA)

Southend boss Kevin Bond could take a gamble on striker Stephen Humphrys as he looks to secure the club’s League One status against promotion hopefuls Sunderland.

Humphrys has not been involved since suffering a fractured nose, cheekbone and eye socket at Accrington on February 23 and is short of match fitness, but could be involved in the club’s hour of need.

Midfielder Luke Hyam is a major doubt after suffering a hamstring injury during last Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at Rochdale.

Harry Lennon remains out, while fellow defender Jason Demetriou continues his recovery from knee surgery.

Sunderland winger Aiden McGeady will be missing once again as the Black Cats attempt to halt an alarming slump in form ahead of the play-offs.

McGeady missed Tuesday night’s 2-1 defeat at Fleetwood with the foot injury he has been nursing for a month and is not expected to be risked at Roots Hall.

However, manager Jack Ross is hopeful that striker Charlie Wyke, who also sat out in midweek with a dead leg, will be available once again.

Ross otherwise has a series of bumps and bruises to assess – striker Will Grigg has been playing with an ankle problem – and will make final checks before he names his team.