Southampton may be without Shane Long for their Premier League match against Newcastle United as the striker battles to overcome a hip injury.
Long was the matchwinner during the Saints' last victory over the Magpies 18 months ago, but the pacy forward could be ruled out of the contest if he fails to recover in time from an injury picked up on international duty, according to the Daily Echo.
The Republic of Ireland international was forced to sit out the crucial 1-0 World Cup qualifying victory over Wales on Monday due to a hip complaint, and Southampton are now sweating on his availability ahead of hosting Newcastle at St.Mary's.
Long had wormed his way to the front of the pack as Mauricio Pellegrino's first choice striker after Manolo Gabbiadini's goalscoring problems and Charlie Austin's current out-of-favour situation.
Despite starting each of the south coast club's last three league games, however, Long himself is yet to register a goal this term as Southampton struggle to find the back of the net.
HIs willingness to chase lost causes and occupy space in opposition defences would be a big miss though, and Pellegrino would have a big decision to make over who should replace the 30-year-old if he is unavailable.
Of the Argentine's other two options, Gabbiadini is likely to receive the nod due to him starting the first four league matches of the season.
Austin, meanwhile, has made five league appearances from the bench for Southampton but, with both strikers only notching one goal each so far this term, Pellegrino could really opt for either.
Long had overcome a broke metatarsal sustained at the back end of last season during the summer break, and his latest injury could see him ruled out for an extended period for the third time in the past 12 months.