Russell Martin confirms Southampton star is now fit and available for selection

After recovering from an Achilles injury, Ross Stewart played for Southampton’s under-21s against Sunderland.
Southampton manager Russell Martin says having Ross Stewart available for selection will be fantastic, but fans should not expect too much too soon.

The 27-year-old striker hasn’t played for Sunderland since January, when he suffered an Achilles injury while playing in an FA Cup tie against Fulham. Stewart then joined Southampton over the summer and faced the Black Cats in an under-21s match on Friday, scoring first before Sunderland came back to win 2-1.

“First and foremost, it is a huge moment for him as a person because he has been out for a long time and anyone can see how hard he has worked since he has been here,” Martin said of Stewart’s appearance for the under-21s team, in which the striker played 45 minutes. I’m sure he had the same mindset when he was at Sunderland trying to get fit. He’s had a few setbacks along the way, but that’s to be expected with such a long-term injury. I am overjoyed for him as a young man and as a person.  Selfishly for us as a group of coaches and a squad, it is a brilliant moment for us because he is going to contribute a lot. I don’t think we should expect too much too soon from him. He has been out a long while.”


Andy's Player Ratings: Southampton U21 1-2 Sunderland U21 - Ross Stewart  scores but mackems win - Roker Report


Stewart could be named to Southampton’s senior squad for their match against West Brom this weekend, while the striker will have more time to work on his fitness during the international break this month.

Martin added of Stewart’s goal for the under-21s, “It is a goal that is typical of him.” He rushes to the box, attacks it, and scores a spectacular goal. That will no doubt excite supporters and raise their expectations. I believe we must be patient.

It will be wonderful to have him back before the international break. Hopefully, he’ll have a good week of training with us and we’ll be able to include him in the squad next week.”

Sunderland defeated Southampton 5-0 at the Stadium of Light in September and will travel to St Mary’s on Saturday, March 9.

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