Saints are optimistic that Mario Lemina will figure for the club before the end of the season despite another setback in his recovery from injury.

The 25-year-old midfielder hasn’t played at all in 2019 after suffering an abdominal problem that required minor surgery.

It was expected he would have been back in action some time ago, but he has endured a series of issues that have hampered his progress.

However, Saints boss Ralph Hasenhuttl remains hopeful that the Gabon international’s season is not going to end prematurely.

“I’m sure we will see him again,” he insisted.

“This part is not the worst injury now but it’s normal if you have such a long break like he did you make movements not 100 per cent in the right direction and then you can feel every muscle and so we have to pay attention and that’s why we try to rise the impact of this training intensity step-by-step.

“Then you maybe have to take a step back so not a higher risk.

“We will see him again this year for sure.”