Southampton will again be without Nathan Redmond but are set to have at least two players back available when they face Sheffield United this weekend.
Redmond missed the 1-1 Premier League draw with Manchester United on August 31 having suffered an ankle injury when the Saints beat Fulham 1-0 in the Carabao Cup four days earlier.
Boss Ralph Hassenhuttl at that point said it appeared the 25-year-old would be out for “two, three weeks”, and on Thursday, ahead of Saturday’s league trip to Sheffield United, he reported Redmond remained unavailable but was “making progress.”
However, striker Michael Obafemi, who sat out the last game due to cramp after scoring the winner against Fulham, and full-back Ryan Bertrand, absent for the last three matches in all competitions because of an ankle issue, are back in contention.
And Redmond’s fellow winger Moussa Djenepo, who has been nursing a muscle problem picked up against Fulham, could be back involved at Bramall Lane as well.
Hassenhuttl, quoted on Southampton’s official website, said: “Everybody is back from their international games without injuries, so that’s good news.
“The bad news is that Nathan is still not available, but he is making progress.
“With Moussa it looks better; we aren’t sure whether it is enough to play this weekend. We’ll have to look.
“He can bring us something special, he showed it in the few minutes he’s played so far that he can make a difference.
“The chances are not that big, but let’s see. I don’t want to take too much risk because it’s a very busy September.
“Michael is in training sessions as well as Ryan, they are both options. It has been good to regroup over the break, we’re looking forward.”
Defender Kevin Danso serves a one-match ban after his sending off in the draw with Manchester United.