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Ryan Bertrand could return to the Saints squad to take on his former club Chelsea on Sunday.

The left back has been missing since picking up a hamstring injury in the last international break with England.

With Matt Targett still ruled out with a similar problem, it has left Sam McQueen as the only available left back.

And with Cedric Soares also injured in the right back slot, it leaves Saints short of full back cover.

Bertrand is touch and go to face Chelsea, but Jay Rodriguez is ruled out after being forced off against Sunderland with dizziness.

Second choice keeper Alex McCarthy is also now sidelined with a hamstring problem, while Shane Long also remains unavailable.

“There are some players with injuries,” said Puel with a rueful smile.

“Targett, Long, Hesketh, McCarthy now, Rodriguez stayed quiet because he has dizziness and he stay a few days without football and we will see with Bertrand if he can come back on the squad.”

Saints are in good form and Puel hopes to keep that going when Chelsea come to town.

“I think for the moment it’s interesting to see my players every time with different players,” he said. “For me it’s the most important with this capacity to play many games and keeping always the same intensity of play.

“It is important for the future and to have results and for the moment it is a good dynamic between players.

“It is important to continue this work because it is always difficult to put the result, good efficient, and to play a good game with great opponents.

“It’s hard but very interesting for my players, for my young players, and I think they learn every time the succession of many games, many opponents, and every three years it is important to take a good physical level, a good energy, and to think about our players every time.

“Against any opponent the most important is our play.”