Ralph Hasenhuttl has revealed that Stuart Armstrong is nearing a return to full fitness as the Scottish midfielder is ahead of schedule in his recovery from injury.
Speaking to Southampton’s official website ahead of this week’s FA Cup replay against Tottenham, the Saints manager confessed that the Scottish international was making excellent process after picking up a hip injury against Spurs in their previous encounter in late January.
Hasenhuttl said when asked about Armstrong’s progression in the medical room: “Stuart is ahead of schedule. He could maybe be fit quicker than we think, but fit for Wednesday, I don’t think so.”
Armstrong has been influential in Southampton’s recent run of good form, with the former Celtic midfielder bagging the Saints’ first goal against Leicester City in their redemption match against the Foxes as well as scoring a well-hit long-range effort 10 days later in the south coast side’s 2-0 win over Crystal Palace.
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The 27-year-old attacking midfielder has been key to Southampton’s great form in recent weeks, with Armstrong starting in six of the Saints last eight games in the Premier League (per Transfermarkt), with Hasenhuttl’s side winning five of said matches as the formerly relegation-threatened team have clawed their way up the league standings.
Hasenhuttl’s update on Armstrong is promising, to say the least, with the Austrian manager previously fearing that the 27-year-old star could be out for as long as three weeks (per Southampton’s official website), and these latest comments from the Saints boss could mean that the midfielder returns to full fitness after the winter break.
Southampton will have one of the shorter breaks out of sides in the Premier League this week with the Saints competing in the FA Cup, though it is a promising sign that Armstrong, who has emerged as a key player for the south coast club since December, could be back in the XI once Premier League football comes back to St. Mary’s.
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