(Reuters) - Southampton’s Moussa Djenepo is facing an extended spell on the sidelines after manager Ralph Hasenhuettl confirmed the winger’s leg injury is worse than first thought.
Djenepo, who has scored twice in his four Southampton appearances this season, missed Friday’s 3-1 loss at Bournemouth in the Premier League with a recurring muscle injury in his upper leg.
Southampton had hoped Djenepo would return for the south coast derby against Portsmouth in the League Cup later on Tuesday but the damage to his tendons mean a longer spell in the treatment room.
“It can take longer until he is back in the team, which is not really good for us that he could be longer out,” Hasenhuettl has said.
“It’s a very difficult injury because the tendon is a little bit hurt and it’s a big risk to take him on the pitch. He still has problems with his muscle and he cannot shoot.
“It also can be that the other muscles take the function and try to make this muscle more stable but in the moment I don’t have a really good message.”
Hasenhuettl said he would pick the strongest possible starting lineup for the derby but was wary of not risking influential midfielder Nathan Redmond, who returned from an ankle injury against Bournemouth.
“Maybe he (Redmond) is an option then from the bench,” Hasenhuettl said.
“I take the best possible team but sure, we will not be taking risks to lose one player for a long time because in the last cup game we had three injured players.”
Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Amlan Chakraborty