SAINTS boss Ralph Hasenhuttl has explained the surprise absences of Stuart Armstrong and Moussa Djenepo following his side’s 2-1 defeat at Norwich City.

The Austrian boss gave a clean bill of health, with recovering Jack Stephens aside, 48 hours before kick-off.

He replaced Armstrong with Ibrahima Diallo in the starting lineup, while Nathan Redmond – who was also absent – missed the victory over Aston Villa last time out too.

Redmond tested positive for COVID-19 before the 1-0 win, but he has finished his isolation and was not available for this match after the birth of his first child on Friday.

Speaking after the match, Hasenhuttl said: "Stuart has a calf injury.”

Armstrong missed seven games for Saints at the start of the campaign due to a calf problem that continued to get worse.

It is unclear how serious this fresh concern is.

Hasenhuttl continued: “Moussa has some private problems and Redmond is missing, of course, because he became a father.

"Redmond's son was born yesterday (Friday), it was yesterday when we learned that he would not be part of the team and Stuart was also yesterday (Friday), yes."