(Reuters) – Southampton striker Charlie Austin faces two months or more on the sidelines after suffering a suspected hamstring tear in last weekend’s 1-1 Premier League draw with Huddersfield Town, manager Mauricio Pellegrino said.
Austin headed in the opener against Huddersfield but limped off with 11 minutes to go. The powerful forward has scored six goals this season, including five in the last seven league games, to emerge as Southampton’s top scorer.
Austin had already received a three-match ban for a kick on Huddersfield goalkeeper Jonas Lossl’s face.
“Charlie, I think he will be out more than normal … this evening he will have another test to analyse a little bit better his injury, the grade of his injury,” Pellegrino said.
“We will see but I expect Charlie will be out for a couple of months, minimum. It is a big pity because Charlie was in a really good moment.”
Shane Long, who has not scored this season, and Manolo Gabbiadini will compete for Austin’s spot at the tip of Southampton’s attack.
Southampton are 14th in the league with 19 points, and travel to second-placed Manchester United on Saturday.
(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Kevin Liffey)