Mauricio Pochettino is confident that Maya Yoshida will still figure in the World Cup despite being ruled out for the rest of the season as part of a mini Saints injury crisis.
The Japan defender has hurt his knee ligaments in training and is highly unlikely to figure again for the remainder of the season.
Yoshida is one of three players definitely ruled out ahead of Saturday’s game against Newcastle at St Mary’s – Kelvin Davis and Nathaniel Clyne being the others – while there are serious doubts over Morgan Schneiderlin, Victor Wanyama, Jay Rodriguez and Steven Davis.
The major concern though was for Yoshida ahead of what should be an amazing summer for him.
“It is true he will be out for six or seven weeks but his participation in the World Cup will not be threatened,” assured Pochettino.
“It will be difficult for him to play in the last six weeks of this season.”
He added: “I actually went through a similar situation in a World Cup and I had a similar injury to his but I recovered a month before and was able to take part in the World Cup.
“He has started working already this week so he shouldn’t miss any training sessions and the staff and all of us are going to help him so that’s back to his best as soon as possible.”
Ahead of this weekend’s game he said: “Kelvin Davis is definitely out. Nathaniel Clyne is definitely out. Maya Yoshida is definitely out.
“Maya had a problem in the week with his knee ligament and he will be out for six weeks, so pretty much the rest of the season.
“We have the doubts over Morgan Schneiderlin, Victor Wanyama and Jay Rodriguez who had to come off in the second half.
“We need to assess the evolution of Steven Davis.
“It’s a long list.”