LONDON Southampton striker Charlie Austin is set to have an operation on a dislocated shoulder and will be sidelined for up to four months, manager Claude Puel said on Sunday.
Austin, Southampton's top scorer this season with nine goals in all competitions, missed Sunday's 1-0 Premier League win over Middlesbrough after being injured in Thursday's 1-1 Europa League draw with Hapoel Beer-Sheva.
"He needs surgery and will be perhaps between three months and four months [out]," Puel told reporters.
Austin, 27, has been a key figure at the club since joining from Queens Park Rangers in January for a transfer fee of four million pounds ($5.02 million).
Southampton's home victory over fifth from bottom Middlesbrough lifted Puel's side to 10th in the table.
($1 = 0.7962 pounds)
(Reporting by Neil Robinson; Editing by Tony Jimenez)