Southend hope to welcome back battle-hardened defender Luke Prosser for Saturday's trip to Mansfield.
Prosser has worn a headband while playing this season to protect stitches to a cut above his eye and he is now also poised to don a protective face mask against the Stags.
It comes as a result of a fractured cheekbone suffered during the 1-1 draw at Dagenham last Tuesday, which forced him to miss the subsequent clash with Newport.
Prosser, who has also sustained a couple of concussions this term, is now set for surgery to his cheekbone on Thursday but should be cleared to play wearing a mask this weekend, a welcome sight for Shrimpers boss Phil Brown.
"It's something Luke is going to have to get used to wearing for the time being," he told the club's official website, revealing Prosser has already tried it out in a friendly this week.
"He said it was slightly awkward heading the ball against West Ham, so we've got to try and make it as comfortable as possible.
"He has put his head in where it hurts a few times this season and he'll need to carry on doing that.
"The 45 minutes was good for him after missing the game on Friday (against Newport), and he should be available for Saturday's game.
"A number of players have had to wear them over the years and it is all about getting used to it out on the pitch."
Brown added: "Luke will be wearing the headband with the mask when he's back playing for us, and we hope that is Saturday."