Southampton star back in contention following 16-month injury nightmare

Southampton have been boosted after Jay Rodriguez admitted that he is fit again following a 16-month spell on the sidelines.

The 26-year-old suffered a anterior cruciate ligament injury towards the end of the previous campaign and was forced to undergo surgery on his foot back in October upon his return.

Rodriguez has been slowly trying to regain back his fitness throughout the campaign, and has revealed after featuring for the Saints Under-21 squad, that he is close to making a full recovery.

“I feel fully fit now,” he told the club’s official website.

“I think it’s just obviously match fitness and by playing hopefully I can improve.

“I feel now that I’ve played a game, a competitive game, it’s just a case of see what happens and just try and work hard and keep improving.”

He was even tipped for the England squad ahead of the World Cup back in 2014 given a host of impressive performances, but his selection was halted after suffering a knee injury.

Saints boss Ronald Koeman will be wary of bringing him back into action too soon, but could call upon his services given that his side have struggled in recent weeks.

The forward only managed to start five matches in all competitions for his side this term, featuring another seven times from the bench, so far scoring three goals in the process.