SAINTS midfielder Stuart Armstrong has spoken out for the first time since his “minor" calf injury ruled him out of selection for seven games.

The 29-year-old hasn’t played a minute for Ralph Hasenhuttl so far this season, having been named on the bench for the visit to Everton and been unavailable thereafter – until he again made the substitutes at Chelsea last weekend.

Despite this, he has still been called up to the Scotland international squad by manager Steve Clarke, as he was in September before pulling out due to the concern.

Saints have missed his creativity and drive going forward, only winning one match so far this season during 90 minutes in all competitions – the 8-0 drubbing of League Two Newport County.

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Supporters can look forward to seeing back available for Hasenhuttl’s men following the international break, when Leeds United visit on Saturday, 16 October.

Speaking to BBC Radio Scotland, Armstrong has explained his extended absence, saying: "I had a couple of setbacks, but it's all good now.

“It's been a bit of a long process to be back in training at the start of last week for Southampton and to be back involved in the match-day squad was a big thing for me.”

Armstrong continued: “I picked up a little injury that I thought would only be a few days, a week at most, but things went wrong along the way."

"Initially it was FHL (a heel ligament injury) and then it turned into a calf injury, then that took longer than the two-three week period I was looking for."

In total, Armstrong has been out for over five/six weeks with the concern that was at first hoped to be just days.