Claude Puel has been impressed with the physical condition of new signing Martín Cáceres, and has indicated he could be in his thinking for the EFL Cup final.
The Uruguay international was signed on a short-term deal last week, but the former Barcelona and Juventus defender has not played a competitive game in 12 months.
Puel, however, was impressed by the 29-year-old's fitness levels during last weekend's training camp in Spain, and explained that he could make the squad for Sunday's clash with Manchester United, at Wembley.
"I think it was interesting for Martín and Manolo [Gabbiadini] also, to come to this training camp," said the Saints boss.
"It was a good opportunity to get to know all the other players and to build up a good acquaintance between themselves.
"It's a good surprise about Martín, because he is physically fit and we will see if he can participate for the final, because it would be his first game in one year, but I think he can give a good solution – perhaps for the final, and for the future."
With Sofiane Boufal having missed the 4-0 win over Sunderland, there has been a doubt about him, but Puel confirmed the playmaker had returned to training and will be assessed tomorrow.
"Sofiane comes back step-by-step in the training sessions," said Puel. "We will see tomorrow. He is better and I hope he can participate also with the squad."
The Saints boss added there are no new injury concerns, with long-term absentees Charlie Austin, Virgil van Dijk, Jérémy Pied, Matt Targett and Alex McCarthy still unavailable.