Southampton have been dealt a major injury blow after it was revealed Danny Ings has been ruled out for up to six weeks.
Ings was forced off in the final minutes of Southampton’s 4-3 win at Aston Villa on Sunday following a challenge by substitute Trezeguet.
The Saints said on Monday that the 28-year-old striker, who scored in Sunday’s victory, had undergone a scan on his injured left knee and that the initial prognosis was favourable.
But speaking ahead of his side’s Premier League clash against Newcastle on Friday, manager Ralph Hasenhuttl said his star man will have surgery tomorrow and is expected to be sidelined for at least one month.
“It looks as though Danny is out for four to six weeks,” said Hasenhuttl. “He will have small surgery tomorrow morning. It could be worse but he is out and this is not good news for us.
“The scan was not too bad and showed an issue with his meniscus. He started running yesterday, jogging on the pitch, but the knee was swollen and he had pain.
“We decided to stop so it didn’t get worse because that doesn’t make sense. It was clear that we had to take another look.
“We decided to go for the surgery because it is the safest way to have a four-to-six-week break only. It is a small surgery but a necessary one and hopefully it doesn’t get worse.”
The diagnosis will come as a significant dampener to Southampton, with Ings having scored five times in seven games this season. He also netted 22 goals last term, just one adrift of Golden Boot winner Jamie Vardy.
The former Burnley and Liverpool forward’s career has been blighted by two serious knee injuries which led to long spells on the sidelines. However, Hasenhuttl insisted Ings’ latest setback was not connected to previous problems.
Southampton’s win over Villa moved them up to fifth in the table, but Hasenhuttl was unhappy with the game in which he claimed that referee Darren England was not always in control.
Ryan Bertrand and Jan Bednarek were both substituted in the fixture and could miss the visit of Newcastle to St Mary’s Stadium. Bertrand was replaced following a hamstring injury, while Bednarek did not emerge for the second half after a clash of heads. Ibrahima Diallo also suffered a dead leg.
“The last game was definitely a very tough one and sometimes beyond the edge of what is OK for me because we were on the end of a few brutal tackles,” added Hasenhuttl.
“We won the game but we paid a high price and this is what has caused me a headache. The game was not always under control from the referee’s side and five players now have big issues.
“I don’t know if Bednarek can train today and Ryan is also maybe out for the weekend.”