(Reuters) – Southampton midfielder James Ward-Prowse has recovered from a deep cut in his leg but he will not be risked against Burnley this weekend if there is a chance the wound could open up again, manager Ralph Hasenhuettl said on Thursday.
Ward-Prowse was carried off five minutes before halftime in their 3-2 FA Cup defeat at Tottenham Hotspur last week after he suffered a laceration on his leg while trying to block Ryan Sessegnon’s clearance.
“Today was his first time on the pitch. I tried to keep him out as long as possible. The players always like to come back on to the pitch and he handled it well, I think,” Hasenhuettl told reporters ahead of Saturday’s home game.
“We must pay attention that the cut is not going to open again but it looks good and hopefully he can play on the weekend. It’s more important that it doesn’t get worse and then he’s out.
“If it’s too early then we don’t play with him. But it looks good. He’s an important player for our team, absolutely.”
The influential Ward-Prowse has been filling in at right back in recent games but he is likely to return to midfield, with Spurs’ on-loan defender Kyle Walker-Peters set to makes his debut for the Saints.
“(Walker-Peters has) trained now for a few weeks with us and showed that he can help us,” the Austrian manager added. “I think (he has) learnt our habits and our behaviours… This is another good option I have.”
Southampton are 13th in the standings with 31 points, behind 11th placed Burnley on goal difference.
(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis)
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