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Ireland U21 midfielder Smallbone returns to action after nine months out

He hasn’t played since being injured while on Premier League duty with Southampton in January.

Will Smallbone in possession for Southampton against Leicester City before he was struck down by injury.
Will Smallbone in possession for Southampton against Leicester City before he was struck down by injury.
Image: PA

WILL SMALLBONE IS to return to action this evening following an injury absence that has lasted nine months.

The Ireland U21 international has been sidelined since rupturing his anterior cruciate knee ligament while playing for Southampton in a 2-0 defeat to Leicester City in the Premier League back in January.

Having now completed his recovery from the injury, Smallbone has been given a chance to prove his fitness by being named in the Saints’ B team for tonight’s EFL Trophy game against Charlton Athletic.

The English-born midfielder, who made a goalscoring debut for Southampton in an FA Cup third-round win against Huddersfield Town in January 2020, has played 13 first-team games for the St Mary’s outfit across all competitions.

Qualifying via his mother, who hails from Kilkenny, 21-year-old Smallbone has represented Ireland at various underage levels, with his U21 debut coming in a European Championship qualifier away to Italy last year.

Gavin Cooney
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