Southampton manager Nigel Adkins has dismissed fears Rickie Lambert will miss the start of the season following his absence from the Memorial Cup.
The 28-year-old missed the showpiece friendlies against Werder Bremen and Atletico Bilbao which had raised fears amongst Saints fans of a serious injury.
Adkins, however, has moved swiftly to reject that notion and has revealed it was just a minor twinge in his back that caused last season's 21-goal top scorer to miss the games as a precautionary measure.
"Rickie is in the best shape of his career and that's in his own words," Adkins told the club's official website.
"He looks great but he's got a little twinge in his back and there's no way I'm going to risk him at the stage we're at now.
"We're delighted with where he is so don't jump to any conclusions; he's in great shape and we've only had two little niggles from the squad in pre-season, which says great things about the way we've worked.
"The desire and the spirit are there. Overall everything is really pleasing."