Charlie Austin: Southampton striker to miss up to four months with shoulder injury
Southampton striker Charlie Austin will be out for "three or four months", according to manager Claude Puel, as he needs surgery on a dislocated shoulder.
Austin, 27, suffered the injury during the first half of Saints' 1-1 Europa League draw with Israeli side Hapoel Be'er Sheva on Thursday.
He has scored nine goals in all competitions this season, including six in the Premier League.
Austin missed Sunday's 1-0 Premier League victory over Middlesbrough.
In his news conference after the Boro game, Puel said: "Normally he needs surgery and will be perhaps between three months and four months [out].
"That is a good estimation for the time after the surgery. Is it dislocated? Yes. Will it need surgery? Yes, normally yes."
Austin joined Southampton from QPR for £4m in January and has been a key figure, scoring six of their 14 Premier League goals in 2016-17.
Their next highest league goalscorer is Nathan Redmond with three, while England international striker Jay Rodriguez has not scored a league goal since August.
Austin will miss both legs of the club's EFL Cup semi-final against Liverpool in January and any potential final, with the club also scheduled to play 13 league matches and at least one FA Cup tie in the next three months.