Saints midfielder closing in on return
Ralph Hasenhuttl believes Mario Lemina will feature for Southampton before the end of the season after returning to training.
The former Juventus man hasn't been seen since Southampton lost 3-1 to Manchester City at St Mary's on December 30.
He left the field at half-time with an abdominal issue and has been receiving treatment from the club's medical staff.
With three Premier League games to come in the space of eight days, starting with Newcastle on Saturday, Hasenhuttl will need to use his full squad as they attempt to finish the campaign as strongly as possible.
Hasenhuttl is confident that Lemina can play some part during their run-in after taking part in training sessions this week.
"Mario Lemina made a big step forward in the week," Hasenhuttl told the media at his pre-match press conference. "He's trained with the team and looks much better now – that's good for him and good for us.
"We know we have an intense week with three games, so it will be nice if we have one more option in this position.
"I have spoken about it and I am sure he will play [at least] one more game this season. The chances are big because now he is training with the team, so maybe his injury has come to an end."
Bobbie Jackson is a reporter with an in-depth knowledge of football at all levels. A Blackpool supporter, Bobbie is also a keen rugby union, boxing, MMA and UFC follower.