The England international has been out injured for 13 months with a serious knee injury.
Southampton boss Ronald Koeman has been talking today about his joy at seeing Jay Rodriguez back in action for the club. The England international returned to first-team training this week and is now looking to make a comeback before the end of the current season.
Koeman has urged caution on his injury return, but is clearly looking forward to finally having him available for selection. He told Southampton's official website:
“It was nice to see Jay on the pitch involved with the rest of the players.
“I think that’s the next step. It was important for Jay for his mind to see that his is close to the team.
“Now it’s about doing it little by little with more parts of the sessions with contact, until now he’s had no contact with the rest of the players.
“Little by little he has to get used to contact. I think he needs two weeks for that and then maybe he can start to play his part.
“Maybe for the first time it will be in the Under-21s, but it all depends on how it goes next week.”
Last season it looked as though Rodriguez was making a late surge to be part of the England team for the World Cup in Brazil.
The former Burnley star was in sensational form, scoring 17 goals by the end of March, when disaster struck.
He suffered a serious knee injury against Manchester City on the 5th April last year and has not played since. The England international was originally scheduled to be back before the New Year but he has suffered setbacks in his recovery.
It is now 13 months since he last played a game of football and Southampton fans will be desperate to see him in action, perhaps against Manchester City on the 24th May.