Southend United rocked by Dickinson and Kalala injuries

Liam Dickinson

Southend United have been dealt the double blow of losing striker Liam Dickinson and midfielder Jean-Paul Kalala for the rest of the season.

Top scorer Dickinson, 26, is expected to be out for four to five months with a broken ankle.

He will undergo surgery to have metal plates fitted on Monday.

Meanwhile, 30-year-old Kalala has suffered cruciate ligament damage and a fractured knee and will have an operation on Saturday.

The Congolese will not know the full length of his absence until the surgery has been completed.

He joined the Shrimpers in the summer from Bristol Rovers and had featured 30 times this season until picking up his injury in February's 1-0 loss at Morecambe.

Dickinson, who was also a new arrival this term, has contributed 12 goals to Southend's League Two promotion-chasing campaign.

He came off the bench in Monday's goalless draw with Crawley, only to be forced off with nine minutes still to play.

"It is obviously a big blow for Liam and ourselves," manager Paul Sturrock told the club website.

"We're devastated for him as he has been a big player this season for us.

"There's never a good time to lose your top goalscorer and we will have to consider what to do next for the remainder of the season."

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