NATHAN Redmond has said that the Saints squad will “get round” Jack Stephens and "make sure he’s mentally okay,” revealing that the defender’s injury is: “Upsetting, he’s one of my close friends.”

The in-form centre-back suffered a knee injury during the first half at Manchester City that could keep him out until the new year, with up to three months now expected on the sidelines.

The blow came after he helped inspire a first clean sheet of the Premier League campaign, and a first since March, at St Mary’s against West Ham, after he’d started every game of the season so far.

The Torpoint-born 27-year-old is experiencing what Redmond describes as “the first big injury of his career,” and faces a battle to regain his squad place on return too – with Jan Bednarek ready to step back into the starting fold after losing out to Stephens and Mohammed Salisu during this campaign.

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Stephens had been in excellent form in the tackle, as well as always providing an act to inspire fans and getting himself stuck into the opposition – notably against Manchester United where his aggressive pressing snatched the goalscoring opportunity, before he gave Bruno Fernandes a comically snapped talking to.

Daily Echo: The defender was snapped giving Manchester United's Bruno Fernandes a reprimanding (Pic: PA)The defender was snapped giving Manchester United's Bruno Fernandes a reprimanding (Pic: PA)

Speaking to the Daily Echo, Saints winger Redmond revealed: “He’s been in every single day, in and around the dressing room.

“It’s upsetting, he’s one of my close friends in the dressing room so it’s upsetting for me and him, because he’s a good friend of mine but he never gets injured, he looks after himself, keeps himself to himself, but it’s just one of those things, a little bit of a freak accident.

“But Stepho is one of those that whether he’s been playing or hasn’t been, when called upon he always wears the shirt with pride and gives 100%.

“So for him to have his first big injury is not ideal for him, he’s played some great football lately but he’s strong enough to work through this and he will be back in good time.

“I’ve had my fair share of injuries that have kept me out for months on end, but the good thing is there is a good dressing room that will get round him and make sure he’s mentally okay for all of his process, and make sure he’s getting back to training and getting back into the squad in the shortest time possible.”

Daily Echo: Nathan Redmond is no stranger to the feeling of missing out through injury (Pic: PA)Nathan Redmond is no stranger to the feeling of missing out through injury (Pic: PA)

As 27-year-old former England international Redmond alluded too, he has had his own injury problems to face throughout his Saints career – since joining the club from Norwich in 2016.

One of the most serious was a groin injury during the 2019-20 season, although it occurred around a month before the Premier League was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

But Redmond insists you just have to get on with it, adding: “Yeah, it’s one of those things that’s in the game, Injuries and niggles that are going to keep you out.

“But it’s just about how can you use everything available at the training ground to make sure you are available for selection. It’s always annoying, but it’s just part and parcel of it.”