Southampton head coach Ralph Hasenhuttl said Danny Ings had tested positive for coronavirus and was in doubt for Saturday’s trip to Leicester.
The striker tested positive for Covid-19 last week and has isolated himself, but could resume training on Friday.
Ings was part of the Saints’ 1-0 win over Liverpool on January 4 and boss Hasenhuttl confirmed in his virtual press conference on Thursday that the England international had tested positive days after that game.
“After the last game against Liverpool we tested positive,” Hasenhuttl said. “Danny Ings has been out for 10 days now in isolation.
Southampton, however, had no other players who tested positive for the virus.
The referees have been informed to remind players of the need to maintain social distancing as much as possible during matches and when celebrating goals with the aim of reducing the spread of the coronavirus during matches.
Hasenhuttl argues that this case shows that protocols keep players safe and he disagrees that guidelines should impact things on the pitch during games.
“This [Ing’s result] meant that in [the game against Liverpool] perhaps he was also contagious. I think it’s 48 hours before you test positive that you can be, and we haven’t had any other positive tests so far, ”Hasenhuttl said.
“It means our protocols that we stick to and our guidelines that we really follow them and are very disciplined are definitely good and when you stick to those guidelines you can also work like we do every day together, celebrate together.
“We did it after the Liverpool game, we did it in the game and I think that’s the answer enough. You never know but it showed me when you stick to the protocols that [you can] control the risk.
“And that’s why the Premier League decided to let us play football and that’s what we are doing.
“For me part of football is the duels, part of football is the set-piece defense where you’re together and part of famous football when you score a goal and I think the protocols and the experience we have done so far shows that it works. “