Jay Rodriguez is hoping an emotional return from injury against hometown club Burnley will kick start a prolonged comeback.

The 27-year-old striker is back in training again following several weeks out of action with a groin injury, the latest in a line of injury setbacks.

Rodriguez is desperate to face Burnley for only the second time since he left the club to join Saints for £7 million back in 2012.

There is optimism that this time it might be the start of a run of games without injury for the luckless forward as he tries to rebuild his career.

Rodriguez was in great form when he suffered a heart-breaking ACL tear at Manchester City in April 2014, which started a sustained catalogue of problems.

After complications during his rehabilitation, Rodriguez missed the whole of the 2014/15 season, which included two Premier League matches against Burnley in their brief stay in the top flight.

Rodriguez has suffered again since, including having to have surgery on his foot.

He returned to action this season hoping to make it a campaign to remember and a goal against Sunderland at St Mary’s meant thoughts of a potential loan move in a bid for regular football were shelved.

Rodriguez also netted late in the Europa League win over Sparta Prague before being ruled out with a minor groin problem.

Now he has the chance to return and try and get a run of games together.

That starts against Burnley, the club where he made his name and where he is still fondly remembered.

He has only faced Burnley once since he left, that an FA Cup tie in January 2014 which Saints won 4-3 at St Mary’s in which Rodriguez scored.

Saints have a packed schedule ahead of them after the international break, with seven games in 22 days.

There will be plenty of chances for Rodriguez to get involved, with Claude Puel keen to rotate his squad and give all his players game time.

Rodriguez will be desperately hoping he can stay fit and take advantage to really get his career moving again.