18 July 2024

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SAINTS boss Russell Martin has said Jack Stephens’ injury is “not as bad” as the club first feared.

The 29 year old was forced off after 25 minutes in Southampton’s 2-1 win over QPR last Saturday.

Immediately after the game at St Mary’s Martin noted that he was “fearing for the worst” over his captain’s fitness.

Now speaking ahead of his sides’ away trip to Sunderland on Saturday, Martin revealed that the injury isn’t had bad as they initially thought.

“Jack (Stephens’) injury is nowhere near as bad as first feared, which is brilliant news for us.

“Jack has hurt his calf and hopefully, he will be back and won’t miss a huge amount of games.

“Hopefully, he will only miss seven or eight games and then he will be back in the fold.

“That might sound like a lot but we feared the worst on Saturday with how he did his injury.

“It’s bad news because he will be a big loss for us. He’s got leadership and courage on the pitch, a warrior mentality.

“He’s outstanding, I’ve been so impressed with him since I’ve been here.

“He will still influence things off the pitch in the dressing room for sure, but it’s about getting him right now and making sure that when he comes back he stays (fit).”

Jack Stephens: Southampton defender signs new two-year contract - BBC Sport

Southampton are also without defender Lyanco for this weekend after the Brazilian agreed to join Al Gharafa on a season-long loan.

New signing Mason Holgate could be in place to make his debut after joining Saints on loan from Everton.

“Jack has hurt his calf and hopefully, he will be back and won’t miss a huge amount of games.

“Hopefully, he will only miss seven or eight games and then he will be back in the fold.

“That might sound like a lot but we feared the worst on Saturday with how he did his injury.

“It’s bad news because he will be a big loss for us. He’s got leadership and courage on the pitch, a warrior mentality.

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