Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl has provided an injury update on Shane Long ahead of the Premier League clash with Chelsea.
The lowdown: Super sub
Overall, the experienced ace has amassed just 134 minutes of league action this season following 751 across the entire 2020/21 campaign, but has proved himself useful in harrying opposition defence in the closing stages of games.
Having picked up an ankle injury during the 1-1 draw at Leeds United however, Long is now doubtful for the visit of Chelsea to St Mary’s.
The latest: Late call
Speaking during his pre-match press conference, Hasenhuttl provided details on the Irishman’s availability.
As quoted by Hampshire Live, the Austrian boss said: “Longy was not involved in the sessions so far this week, but today he was in light training on the side with his ankle injury he had in the Leeds game. Not that serious (the injury), it was good that we made a scan immediately and he rested for two days. We will see how ankle reacts from the session today and then we will have a look if he is available at the weekend.”
Hasenhuttl will also be without talismanic frontman Armando Broja who is unavailable to play against his parent club, meaning he is a little light in the striker department.
Who has been Southampton's best player this season?
The verdict: Big loss
Whilst opportunities from the start have been hard to come by for Long in recent times, the absence of Broja alongside Long will no doubt be felt on the south coast.
Despite only scoring twice in 26 appearances across all competitions this season, the 88-cap Republic of Ireland stalwart has the ability to stretch the game late on, and win aerial duels whilst also offering a threat on the counterattack should Southampton be in a position of strength (WhoScored).
Potentially without Long and Broja, Hasenhuttl will be forced to turn to Adam Armstrong to lead the line with Che Adams.
In other news: Southampton eyeing move for Bundesliga sensation, find out more here.
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