REUTERS – Southampton striker Jay Rodriguez is facing another lengthy spell on the sidelines after manager Ronald Koeman said he could require surgery on an injured ankle.
Rodriguez came back into the side at the start of the season after spending more than a year recovering from a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament he suffered in April 2014.
However, the once-capped England international has not played since the 2-2 draw with Leicester on Oct. 17.
“Jay is not good, it’s now a long time and we have to make a really tough decision how we have to do the treatment,” Koeman told reporters ahead of Saturday’s home game against Stoke City.
“His foot is still a problem, it gives a lot of pain. We did everything and now, the final call, maybe it will be surgery next week.
“We have to wait and first make that tough decision and then of course we will know something more about how long he will be out.”
With Rodriguez sidelined, Koeman hailed striking trio Graziano Pelle, Sadio Mane and Dusan Tadic, who have all stepped up in their second seasons in England to combine for 13 of the side’s 19 Premier League goals.
“It’s about the experience of these players, because last year it was the first season for Sadio, it was the first season for Dusan and the first season for Graziano,” he said.
“They now have the experience of how tough the Premier League is, how tough the season is. They are looking fit, they are looking sharp at the moment and that’s good, because we need those kind of players.”
(Reporting by Shravanth Vijayakumar in Bengaluru; Editing by John O’Brien)