SAINTS defender James Bree is set to feature for the under-21s against Arsenal to further build his fitness after injury, Russell Martin has confirmed.

Adam Asghar's youth side travel to the Gunners, who sit third in the league, for a Premier League 2 fixture on Friday evening.

The former Luton man has been out since he was withdrawn in the first half against QPR on December 23.

Bree has been pictured in training but remains some distance from being able to return to Championship action.

"He is back training and has been for just over a week, he is looking good," Martin told the Daily Echo.

"The plan for Breezy is to play for the Under-21s on Friday, if he gets through that he will be back in the squad next week.

"That will be really nice for us because he was playing really well before he got injured.

"With the good news we have had that Flynn and Che are not going to be out for very long, Breezy coming back will hopefully mean the squad is in a really good place."

Saturday's win over Huddersfield marked Walker-Peters' 150th appearance for Saints in all competitions.

In order to break back into the team, Bree will either have to displace Walker-Peters, who has played every league minute this season, or Ryan Manning.

Daily Echo: Russell Martin is looking forward to getting James Bree backRussell Martin is looking forward to getting James Bree back (Image: Stuart Martin)

"Kyle has been immense for us. I was probably a bit harsh on him and Ryan at half time on Saturday," Martin continued.

"But those two in the second half were incredible. They drove the change in intensity and had a huge impact.

"It is so difficult to play in this team sometimes in that position because you have to take the ball under so much pressure.

"With Kyle, some of the stuff he does you just end up laughing. He makes the game look so simple when doing things that are so hard.

"He does a couple of things that he should trademark and sell it to other people. I have really loved watching him grow.

"I hope that he is enjoying the freedom and playing in a team that really highlights his strengths."