Jay Rodriguez’s availability for a first-team return will be assessed after he makes his comeback from injury in the under-21 side’s visit to Middlesbrough on Monday.
Ronald Koeman confirmed that the striker will feature in next week’s game, as he continues his recovery from foot surgery.
Rodriguez has not played since the 2-2 draw with Leicester, in mid-October, but has been back on the training pitch in the last fortnight.
Koeman told Southampton’s official YouTube channel that Rodriguez will feature for the under-21s when they take on their Boro counterparts, at Hartlepool’s Victoria Park stadium, on Monday, before his status is reassessed after that.
"Jay is doing well, he's close to being back, and he will start this Monday for the under-21s,” said the Saints manager, who added it will be an important moment for the 26-year-old to get back on the pitch.
"That's always important, to have a good feeling out of that. He is ready. He had already two weeks of training and, of course, after a long period you need game time and minutes and it's good to have that first in the under-21s and then we will see what happens after next Monday.”