Southend boss Steve Tilson has blamed the state of the Roots Hall pitch for the ankle injury that could keep Anthony Grant out for up to two months.
The 22-year-old midfielder ruptured ligaments during the 2-2 draw with Swindon on Saturday and Tilson is sure the hardened surface - which survived a late pitch inspection - was the cause.
Watch a transfer deadline day round-up
"It's come at a bad time for us and I think it was because of the pitch," Tilson said. "It was rock hard over in that corner and an injury was always the main concern once the game got the go-ahead."
He added: "Three quarters of the pitch was fine but down that end it wasn't and I felt it was dangerous.
"All four goals came at that end and unfortunately we didn't get away with it because we've picked up a long-term injury which means we're short of midfielders"
Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.
Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: https://www.givemesport.com/writeforgms