Southampton play Brighton & Hove Albion on Monday night and that slight delay to the fixture could see two key Saints attackers regain the fitness required to at least be a part of Ralph Hasenhuttl’s matchday squad.
Danny Ings picked up a knee injury against Aston Villa in October that required minor surgery.
He has since missed four games, but the England international is now training again and Hasenhuttl says he will be assessed closer to Monday to see if the striker can get some game time against Brighton on Monday.
”We must have a look,” Hasenhuttl said on Friday. “Yesterday [Thursday] was the first time he was training with the team.
“He looks good. We must look how his body reacts to the training and then we can say more. But it looked good yesterday, yes.”
Nathan Redmond has nursed a hamstring injury he picked up in training and has missed games against Wolverhampton Wanderers and Manchester United since.
However, like Ings, Redmond has returned to training and seems likelier to feature against Brighton than Ings does, judging from Hasenhuttl’s comments.
“Redmond is also coming back,” Hasenhuttl said. “Yeah, let’s have a look at how he is.
“His return gives me, maybe, a few more alternatives for the weekend.”
Another man in contention to play is Mohammed Salisu.
The Ghanaian defender, who signed from Real Valladolid for £10.9m in the summer, has not yet featured for the Saints and his lack of appearances bears some resemblance to the Vegard Forren transfer made almost eight years ago.
Hasenhuttl insists that Salisu will play for Southampton and his latest comments seem to suggest we’ll see the centre-back in the matchday squad soon.
“Salisu is also a step further forward in his development, so we have a few more alternatives in the future and this is good,” said Hasenhüttl in the pre-match press conference.
“All of these players it is possible they are in the squad on Monday. We will have a look for whom it is possible and for whom it is too early.
“Now is the busiest time of the year, and in the beginning of this time we seem to have everybody back and fit in the team and we need everybody now, this is for sure, because now becomes a busy time.”