Both Ethan Ampadu and Enda Stevens are back in training for Sheffield United after injury, reports Yorkshire Live.
There was hope that the defensive duo might have played a part last weekend, but in the end missed out as the Blades lost 2-1 to Leicester City.
Neither featured in the 1-0 loss to West Bromwich Albion before that either.
In Ampadu’s absence, Kean Bryan has been given an unexpected opportunity on the left side of the back three and has looked solid.
Yet that was only Bryan’s fifth and sixth appearances for the club since joining from Manchester City in 2018.
Chelsea loanee Ampadu is clearly an upgrade and would be a welcome return in a United defence that has failed to keep a clean sheet so far this season.
Ampadu injury return great, but Stevens even more important
Stevens hasn’t played for the Blades for over a month, apparently injuring his knee during the 4-1 defeat to Chelsea.
Having started every Premier League game for them last term, this is a blow for manager Chris Wilder.
Despite the fact that Stevens hasn’t shown the same sort of form this time around as he did in 2019/20.
Last campaign, the Republic of Ireland international was one of the standout wing-backs in the division.
This term Stevens has struggled, although Max Lowe has not been an adequate replacement in the 30-year-old’s absence.
In fairness to Lowe, it wasn’t expected he would play so much after making a summer switch from Derby County.
Yet needs must and with Stevens out the 23-year-old’s development has been fast-forwarded.
Having been booked, Lowe was brought off at half-time against Leicester and replaced by Ben Osborn.
Osborn could well play in the position at Southampton on Sunday – unless Stevens is available.
Wilder is expected to give an update on all his injured players in Friday’s press conference ahead of the trip to St Mary’s.
Having Ampadu and Stevens back would be a massive boost.