SAINTS striker Dom Ballard has been pictured in team training as his recovery from a long-term injury continues.

The 19 year old has not played football since November when he suffered a Patella tendon injury on loan at League One Reading.

Ballard was enjoying his first senior loan spell, where he had scored three goals in his first 10 league matches for the struggling Royals.

His development was overseen by the management of former Saints boss Ruben Selles, who had given Ballard his Premier League debut months earlier.

England youth international Ballard underwent successful surgery following the injury, which came days after scoring a hattrick for the Young Lions.

Speaking in March, Ballard said:ย โ€œIโ€™ve got a long time until I am back. Hopefully, I will be back by the start of next season. For now, itโ€™s just hard work."

He has now been pictured in training alongside Russell Martin's first team, who have got the footballs out for the first time on Monday.

Ballard scored 52 goals in 67 matches for the Saints under-18s and under-21s before going out on loan to the English Football League.

Ballard will hope to play a part in Southampton's pre-season schedule and could travel to Spain on July 21 for their summer training camp.

In addition to Ballard, academy youngsters Sam Amo-Ameyaw and Tyler Dibling have also been pictured in first-team training this morning.

All players as seen in order of appearance:

Dom Ballard, Jack Stephens, Sam Amo-Ameyaw, Adam Armstrong, Adam Lallana, Taylor Harwood-Bellis, Nathan Wood, Tyler Dibling, James Bree, Ryan Manning, Ross Stewart, Charlie Taylor, Ronnie Edwards, Kyle Walker-Peters, Joe Aribo, Sam Edozie, Sekou Mara, Alex McCarthy, Mat Lis.