Southampton Boost As Injured Trio Return To Training
Thursday, 4th Mar 2021 07:46
It is a big game at Bramall Lane against Sheffield United on Saturday and Saints were handed a big boost as pictures of the team training showed three of the injury list returning to training with the full squad.
Pictures of the squad training on Wednesday morning saw some good news for Saints supporters, not only did all the team from Monday's game at Everton seem to be fit and well, but crucially also back in the squad were Kyla Walker Peters, Ibrahima Diallo and Takumi Minamino.
That is good news, although a return to training does not mean that they are ready to return on Saturday for the game against the Blades.
Takumi Minamino has perhaps the best chance, he has only been missed the defeat at Everton so presumably has only had a minor knock and his fitness level will still be high.
Kyle Walker Peters and Ibrahima Diallo may not be quite ready Walker Peters has only played twice since injuring himself against Arsenal in the FA Cup six weeks ago, he had a brief return against Wolves in both Cup & League but ultimately has not trained fully for much of that six weeks, so not only do the club have to be careful not to bring him back too quickly with his injury, but there is the question of his fitness levels, Ralph might have one eye on ensuring he is fit for the Brighton Premier League game and the Bournemouth cup tie, as these are the two games where he will be most needed in terms of what is at stake.
It is a similar case for Diallo, like KWP he has played just twice since the Arsenal Cup tie on 23rd January, in the second of those games against Aston Villa he was forced off on the hour mark and hasn't kicked a ball in anger since, so that is a full five weeks out.
Given that his game is all about energy and battling in the centre of midfield, he too might not be risked in the starting line up, but held back on the bench.
Of course the game against Sheffield United is important, but Ralph has to make sure that he doesn't rush players back from injury, given the way that the Blades play , sitting back and gong on the break, the manager may feel that he can start the game without KWP & Diallo.
He has hinted that Djenepo might be employed as a right back on Saturday and he might feel that he can also get away with it without Diallo in this one.
Minamino may be a different matter and I would expect him to play possibly in place of Salisu with Djenepo dropping to right back as previously mentioned.
Whatever the case though, it is good to see all three back in training and as the squad gets back to somewhere nearing full strength, it will be good to have them back for what will be some crucial games in the next few weeks.
Photo: Action Images
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