SAINTS have been dealt an early injury blow with the news Stuart Armstrong is set to miss Saturday's season opener at Crystal Palace.

The midfielder featured regularly last season and scored twice during Project Restart.

But speaking at his pre-match press conference today, boss Ralph Hasenhuttl confirmed the Scot has returned from international duty with a quad problem, having played two Nations League matches in the past week.

"Stuart Armstrong came back injured from the national team for the second time," said Hasenhuttl.

"I really hate it to be honest, because it's a pre-season and I do everything to keep the players healthy and then he's coming back after playing 80 minutes, which was definitely not perfect I think.

"That smashes a few automatisms in our game. We have to handle this."