Mauricio Pochettino says Dejan Lovren and Gastón Ramírez are recovering from their recent ankle injuries faster than anticipated.
The duo were initially ruled out for up to eight weeks after being stretchered off during Southampton’s draw at Sunderland on Saturday 18th January.
But the pair resumed light training this morning, leaving Pochettino hopeful that they will be able to return to the field sooner rather than later.
“Lovren and Gastón are still continuing their recoveries,” the manager told Saints Player, “but we hope they’ll be back in less than the eight weeks [originally estimated].
“They’ve been recovering for three weeks and we hope that they come back soon.”
However, both Calum Chambers and Victor Wanyama will need to be assessed ahead of this Saturday’s game against Stoke.
Chambers and Wanyama were both forced off during last weekend’s victory over Fulham having picked up knocks.
“Chambers picked up a dead leg against Fulham so he had to be subbed,” explained Pochettino. “He hasn’t been able to train fully this week, but he was able to train today and did well so we need to assess him ahead of Saturday’s game.
“Victor also picked up a knock against Fulham, so we also need to assess his fitness.”
One player who will not be available against the Potters is Sam Gallagher, who has been given compassionate leave following the sad passing of his father, Richard, last weekend.
“It’s been very bad news for everybody at the Club, for Sam Gallagher and his family,” said Pochettino.
“I want to send him and his entire family my heartfelt condolences and we want to send a message from the whole of Southampton Football Club, all of our staff and all of the players.
“For us, it’s very important that we continue on our path by looking forward to the games we have ahead but it’s also important to give Sam the time he needs to recover from this.
“When he returns to training, we will offer him our one hundred per cent support. We will show him and his family our full kindness and everything they need to help them get by this moment.”