Scottish midfielder Stuart Armstrong is set to miss Saints’ league meeting against Chelsea on Saturday, manager Ralph Hasenhuttl has told Southampton’s official website.

The Scot has been recovering in isolation after testing positive for covid-19 while on international duty.

As a result, he missed his country’s three matches, including their European Championship play-off victory against Israel. He was also absent from their Nations League wins against Slovakia and Czech Republic in what was a great week for Scotland.

Armstrong ‘won’t be an option’

The 11th-placed Saints recommence their league campaign against the Blues, who sit a point ahead in seventh. However, Hasenhuttl insists Armstrong won’t be involved.

The tactician indicated the 28-year-old hadn’t been able to train with the club because of quarantine rules. However, the Austrian is hopeful Armstrong will return for the Saints’ following match against Everton.

Hasenhuttl said: “(Stuart Armstrong) won’t be an option for the weekend because he couldn’t train with us.

 

“He was in quarantine and we speak of a Premier League game where you normally want to work for a week to be part of it.

“No-one else has tested positive here. We hope he will be back for the beginning of next week to be ready for the following game.”

Theo Walcott’s potential second debut for Saints

Armstrong’s absence could see winger Theo Walcott make his first appearance for the club since he left to join Arsenal in January 2006.

The forward rejoined the club on loan from Everton for the rest of the season. Despite his lack of game time, Hasenhuttl was pleased to land the Englishman.

“With Theo we know about his history at the club. He had no game time at Everton so there was a chance to get him here.

“If you have the chance to get a player in who is still hungry and wants to learn and has quality that will makes us better, the question is not do we do it – but when.”

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