Koeman eyes Rodriguez return after quick recovery

SOUTHAMPTON England (Reuters) - Injured England striker Jay Rodriguez is recovering quicker than expected and could be terrorising Premier League defences again in the next few months, his Southampton manager Ronald Koeman told reporters on Thursday.

The 25-year-old target man missed out on a spot in England's World Cup squad after rupturing his knee in a match against eventual champions Manchester City in April.

But Koeman, whose new-look Southampton squad is bedding down well following a summer of departures from St Mary's, said he is looking forward to the striker bolstering Southampton's front line.

"He's doing well, everything is going very well," a relaxed Koeman smiled in an ante-room at Southampton's stadium.

"I am looking forward, because I didn't see much of him playing.

"It will be like having a new signing in December or January."

News of Rodriguez's rapid recovery will not be lost on a host of other Premier League clubs.

Tottenham Hotspur, managed by former Saints boss Mauricio Pochettino, have been consistently linked with the goalscorer, with Manchester City, Liverpool and Everton all associated with the player in recent months.

With Southampton building up a head of steam, and Italian centre forward Graziano Pelle finding his feet with four goals in five competitive appearances, Rodriguez cannot consider himself an automatic starter when he regains fitness -- news which may encourage potential suitors.

Fourth-placed Southampton visit the side above them, Swansea, in the Premier League on Saturday.

(Editing by Tim Collings)

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