Ronald Koeman has confirmed that Morgan Schneiderlin will miss the remainder of the season through injury.
The midfielder limped off in the 2-2 draw with Tottenham Hotspur at St Mary’s last weekend, and it was confirmed in midweek that he has damaged the ligaments in his left knee.
The injury means Morgan will not be available for Saturday’s game at Sunderland, or any of Southampton’s remaining four games in the Premier League this season.
“It’s the ligaments of his left knee and that’s a shame because he’s out for the last part of the season,” Koeman told youtube.com/southamptonfc.
“He’s a key player so it’s disappointing. It’s a knee injury. It’s not five months but at least four or five weeks."
Saints will be boosted however by the return of Victor Wanyama from suspension ahead of the trip to the Stadium of Light.
“We are lucky that Victor is coming back after his suspension for two matches, but you like to have everyone available of course, Morgan is very important.
“Victor is physically strong and he’s played his part in the good defensive organisation of the team, and that’s about the midfielders and defenders.
“We have very good organisation and Victor is part of that.”
Wanyama’s return could see Koeman switch Toby Alderweireld back to a position in the back four, but the Saints boss is keeping his options open.
“It’s a possibility, we have one more session to decide what we want for Saturday and of course we know Toby can be a centre back,” Koeman added.
“We know he can play in midfield too because he is doing well in that position so we’ll have to make a decision.”
Schneiderlin will be joined on the sidelines this weekend by Dušan Tadić, with Koeman confirming the Serbian has a groin issue.
“Dušan is not available because he still has a lot of groin problems and we decide to put him out of the team as he isn’t 100 per cent,” said Koeman.
“He has to come back 100 per cent because if not we could still have that problem next season.”