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Published: 16:07 | 10/3/16

Koeman pleased with Austin recovery

Ronald Koeman hopes to have Charlie Austin back after the international break.

Austin was ruled out for four weeks after he sustained a hamstring injury during Southampton's 2-0 defeat to Bournemouth earlier this month.

He is making good progress in his recovery and Koeman is confident he will be available for the clash with Leicester at the start of next month.

"The latest update about Charlie is that he will be out for another 10 days to two weeks," said Koeman.

"With the schedule of the season that means he will be fit after the international break."

Republic of Ireland international Shane Long picked up a knee injury in the same game and missed the draw against Sunderland, but he will be available for this weekend's trip to Stoke.

"Shane is back, he has trained all week without any problems and he can play," added Koeman.

However, captain Jose Fonte will miss out through suspension and Koeman admits his absence is a blow.

"We don't have a lot of replacements for Fonte in that position, but we have enough defenders so we will make the best choice that we think will be good for Saturday," he said.

"Of course it's a blow, for several reasons. He's an important player, he's the captain of the team, but a red card means you are suspended and it's up to the rest of the players to replace captain."

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