After a breakthrough season last term, youngster Josh Sims has had to battle through eights months of injury woes, in order to reestablish himself within the Saints ranks.
The 20-year-old made 13 first-team appearances during 2016/17, including his Premier League bow against Everton, capping a fine performance with an assist for Charlie Austin's headed winner.
An England youth international, Sims is continuing his phased return in the club's Under-23s setup, featuring for 45 minutes in the 1-1 draw with Reading this week.
Reflecting on his first competitive inclusion since April, he said: "Yeah it was nice to get through it and being back out competing is always a nice feeling.
"It's been tough, I've done a lot of fitness work in rehab but it is completely different when you get on the pitch. The more minutes you play the fitter you'll get.
"It's a shame we didn't get the result, but for me personally it feels good to be back out there.
"I'm hoping to nail a place in the Under-23s team and see where that takes me. Hopefully I push on to the first-team.
"Obviously, previous to my injury I was in and around it so I want to get back to that level and show the new manager what I'm capable of. Getting a few minutes in the first-team is the ultimate aim."