Mauricio Pellegrino has confirmed that midfielder Mario Lemina remains sidelined as Saints prepare to face Saturday's Premier League opponents, Liverpool.
The former Juventus man is nursing an ankle injury sustained in training, but with his recovery continuing to progress well, is expected to make an earlier than anticipated return to action.
"Mario Lemina was training well, much better than before," the manager reiterated. "But he will not be ready to play Saturday.
"We look at his problem three weeks ago and he's improved a lot [since then]. But it is too soon to put him on the pitch."
With no fresh injury concerns, the manager also spoke about relishing the prospect of returning to the club he once played for and consequently spent a short time coaching under Rafa Benítez.
"We are comfortable with the ball, so are they," he continued. "We'll try to manage the ball, this will be key to the game. Try to be aggressive, when they [Liverpool] are higher it is an opportunity for us to create problems.
"It will be really tough, but maybe against those teams that are more offensive, you have the chances to find more space."