Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl has said Danny Ings’ latest injury is “serious but not too serious” and that he could be back in action by the end of the month.
The striker suffered another setback in an injury-hit season when he was forced off early on in Southampton’s win over Sheffield United on Saturday with what appeared to be a muscle problem in his leg.
Hasenhuttl said on Monday that Ings is expected to be absent for up to three weeks and is not likely to return until after the upcoming international break.
“I think it is a serious one but not too serious,” Hasenhuttl said. “I think three weeks it’ll be, expect him back after the international break.”
Ings has scored nine goals in 25 appearances for Southampton this season but has already had to endure a spell on the sidelines, after missing a month before Christmas with a knee problem.
The England international is yet to sign the lucrative new deal offered to him by Southampton and is understood to want to join a club with Champions League ambitions, but for now he remains a key part of the club’s plans.
Southampton have endured a run of bad luck on the injury front, with Hasenhuttl telling Sky Sports after full-time at Bramall Lane: “It’s a little bit fitting to the history we’ve had in these past weeks. It’s horrible this season, we have so many problems and as soon as players are coming back others are injured again.
“We lost Ori [Oriol Romeu] and now we lose Ings again and these are all very important players for us.”
The Austrian was relieved to see his side finally end their nine-match winless streak on Saturday, claiming their first victory since beating Liverpool on January 4.
“The first win after a long time is always an important one, and I think it was a deserved one today,” he said. “We had a good performance, deserved to win and it feels good.
“The team did what we had to do against a team that is fighting for everything. The only thing I can criticise is that we could have scored more, but it was important for Che to score, Nathan Tella played well, and it was a good performance.”
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