Puel: No new injury concerns

By SFC Media Mon 15 May Saints vs Man Utd
Photo by Naomi Baker | Claude Puel

Claude Puel has no new injury concerns ahead of Wednesday’s clash with Manchester United, with the Southampton boss also reporting some pleasing progress on Virgil van Dijk.

The Saints defender has been out since January with a foot injury, but was running on the pitch this morning.

Puel explained that he will not be available before the end of the season, but was encouraged by what he witnessed from the centre-back.

"We have no new injuries, but there was some good news this morning when I saw Virgil running on the pitch,” he said.

"He is not available, but it was his first run and it’s a good thing, but he does not have the possibility to participate with the team until the end of the season.”

Puel also revealed that goalkeeper Alex McCarthy, who has also been out with a long-term injury, was back in training, but, like van Dijk, is not yet available.

"McCarthy comes back in the training sessions also and makes good progress,” he said. “Again, he is not available, but is making progress. Hesketh is also not available, but that is all.”

Puel also spoke at his pre-match press conference about striker Charlie Austin, after he came on as a late substitute at Middlesbrough having been out since December with a shoulder injury.

"We have different possibilities, and it’s a good thing to see Charlie come back into the squad,” he said. "Now he comes in with competition with other players like Long, Rodriguez, Gabbiadini.

"I hope he can play a little before the end of the season, of course. He needs to have rhythm and intensity after his five months out of the squad. It is normal, but he has good physical fitness and that is important for the team."

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