Scunthorpe United have been rocked by the news that two key players have picked up serious hamstring injuries heading into the busy Christmas period.

Iron boss Neil Cox revealed to BBC Radio Humberside that talismanic forward Kevin van Veen is set to miss up to ten weeks with a hamstring tear, whilst McGahey is set for a scan on the injury he picked up during Tuesday’s 1-0 defeat to Colchester United at the Sands Venue Stadium.

Van Veen, who had set his sights on returning to action ahead of the Iron’s local derby with Grimsby Town before Christmas, also requires an operation on his finger. That operation was set to take place in the summer, but may now be brought forward given confirmation of the lengthy spell on the sidelines.

The Dutchman has struggled with niggling injuries since the start of the season and has been troubled by sciatica in recent weeks. He suffered the latest injury whilst training on Monday ahead of the Iron’s must win clash with bottom club Southend United on Tuesday.

Cox told the press: “Kev went for a scan after feeling a problem in his hamstring after trying to train last week. It looks as though a tear has shown up and that’ll mean he will be 10 weeks on the sidelines, which is a massive blow for us.

“He will have some time away from the place. He has to have an injection which will mean he’s away from the building. We will manage him and the physios will do a great job, as they always do.”

Harrison McGahey is also expected to be missing for a lengthy spell having limped off during Tuesday’s defeat. Cox admitted the injury to centre back McGahey “doesn’t look good”, but the club were hopeful of favourable results from a scan before confirming how long he will be missing.

The central defender, who has also been struggling with niggling injuries since pre season, has played an instrumental part in the Iron’s improvement in recent weeks and the news comes as a huge blow to the Iron.

Cox added: “He’s had a scan today. We’re just waiting for the results and we’re hopeful that it’s not going to be too long, but you can never be sure when it’s a hamstring.”

Meanwhile Jordan Clarke, who has started the last three games, has a thigh problem and will not be risked this Saturday. Jai Rowe, who replaced Clarke towards the end of the Iron’s defeat to Colchester in midweek, is set to deputise at Roots Hall with Cox taking precautions with Clarke ahead of a busy December schedule.

Meanwhile, there are doubts over the fitness of Manny Onariase but the Iron boss admitted he should recover and be fit to start alongside Jacob Bedeau despite having a sore groin and a facial injury.

The Iron will be looking to bounce back from a 1-0 midweek defeat as they travel to Southend and Cox has warned his players to expect a physical battle in Essex.

“We’ve got to go there and set up like we have been doing away from home and put in a proper display. We want to make sure we keep playing forward, like we have been doing, and carry on creating chances. Our boys have got to make sure they’re ready for a physical battle.

“Fans will be back in, which is a good start for them and it’s a good start for us too, as it’ll be good to play with a crowd there,” he stated.