Ralph Hasenhuttl has confirmed Danny Ings is self-isolating after contracting Covid-19 and the striker is expected to miss Southampton’s Premier League clash with Leicester.
Ings scored a brilliant winning goal to help Southampton beat his former club Liverpool on January 4 but tested positive for the virus after the match.
According to Hasenhuttl, Ings could return to training on Friday but it’s unlikely the 28-year-old will play a part at the King Power Stadium this weekend which comes as a major blow to the Saints.
The England forward has racked up seven goals and three assists in the top flight this season and will have been desperate to feature, given Southampton could go level on points with their opponents should they win.
Speaking to the media ahead of Saturday’s match, Southampton boss Hasenhuttl explained: ‘After the last game against Liverpool, we had one positive test. Danny Ings has been out now for 10 days in self-isolation.
‘That meant that in this [Liverpool] game maybe also he was contagious. I think it’s 48 hours before a positive test you can be [infected] and we had no further positive tests so far.
‘And that means our protocols we are sticking to and our guidelines we really follow them and are very disciplined are definitely good, and when you stick to these guidelines then you can also work like we do it every day together, celebrate together.
‘We did it after the Liverpool game, we did it in the game and I think this is the answer enough. You never know but this showed me when you stick to the protocols that you have [you can] control the risk.
‘It’s the reason why the Premier League decided to let us play football and this is what we are doing.
‘For me, part of football is the duels, part of football is defending a set-piece where you’re standing together and part of football is celebrating when you score a goal and I think the protocols and experience we made so far shows that it works.’
Hasenhuttl’s suggestion that Ings may have been contagious when Southampton faced Liverpool earlier this month has raised some concerns ahead of the champions’ crunch match with title rivals Manchester United.
But the Merseyside giants have announced no positive Covid-19 cases since their defeat at St Mary’s and Sunday’s heavyweight encounter is expected to go ahead as planned.
Che Adams has recovered from concussion and Alex McCarthy has been given the all clear to face Leicester after finishing his period of self-isolation, which meant he missed Southampton’s victory over Liverpool.
However, Hasenhuttl admitted he still had ‘a bit of a headache’, with several players still sidelined.
‘Michael Obafemi has had surgery and Nathan Tella has problems with his muscle,’ the Southampton boss added.
‘We have a few problems in the moment which gives me a bit of a headache.
‘We’ve not got the chance to use all the recovery equipment we have in the building at the moment and we had a shorter pre-season so that plays a part.
‘[Nathon] Redmond, Jannik [Vestergaard] and Moussa [Djenepo] are all longer-term injuries.’
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