Southampton reserve team boss Stewart Henderson reckons Leandre Griffit and Arron Davies could be the next youngsters thrust into action for injury-hit Saints.
Teenagers Dexter Blackstock and Leon Best made their full debuts in last Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at Everton after James Beattie (broken toe), Kevin Phillips (calf) and Peter Crouch (knee) had all been ruled out.
The 18-year-old strikers will almost certainly see action again on Sunday at home to Birmingham as the absent trio are all suffering long-term injuries.
Henderson believes head coach Steve Wigley may soon turn to French midfielder Griffit and Welsh striker Davies, both 20.
“To be fair, Leandre is just coming back from injury but he and Arron were outstanding the other day against Arsenal reserves in a 2-2 draw – when, of course, we didn’t have Dexter or Leon.”
Saints physio Jim Joyce said: “We are beginning to see a little light at the end of the tunnel with our injuries although we can surely not afford any more for a while.
“We have three players likely to come back into the team on Sunday and that’s good news, for a change, on the injury front.”
Wigley, still seeking his first league win since taking over from sacked Paul Sturrock just three games into the season, said: “I don’t know what I’ve done to deserve all these blows.
“We are not getting any breaks at all, but it is no good moaning about it. You just have to soldier on.”
Striker Brett Ormerod finishes his month’s loan at Leeds on Saturday, but is unlikely to be considered for the Birmingham game.
Graeme Le Saux (knee), Chris Baird (ankle) and defender Claus Lundekvam, who missed the Everton defeat after being sick with a virus in the dressing room before the game, could all be fit for selection, however.
But it would still leave novice boss Wigley without seven first-team regulars through injury – including midfielder Matthew Oakley, still recovering from knee surgery, and Latvia striker Marian Pahars (ankle).