Niemi ready to return
By Paul Higham. Last Updated: January 1, 1970 1:00am
Southampton goalkeeper Antti Niemi is hoping to be fit for Saturday's match with Bolton after recovering from a groin injury.
The 31-year-old Finnish shot-stopper missed the home defeat to Manchester City due to the injury but is back in training and hoping for a return to action against The Trotters.
"It feels much better now and I am hoping to be okay for Saturday," Niemi told the club website.
Worse news for The Saints comes as Latvian playmaker Marian Pahars has suffered an injury setback as he looks to get over a groin injury.
Pahars had made a reserve comeback after an ankle injury but suffered a recurrence of an old groin problem that threatens to delay his return to action.
"The ankle is fine after last week but he was clearly in pain and we will have to wait and see how it pans out," said Saints physio Jim Joyce.
Meanwhile, Southampton defender Chris Baird has been allowed to remain at Division One side Walsall for a further month on loan.
The Northern Ireland international will remain at The Bescot until November 25, to the delight of Saddlers boss Colin Lee.
"I was very pleased to get Chris back," said Lee.
"He's only 21 but what a great prospect he is, I wish I could write a cheque for £1m and sign him.
"There are still things he can pick up but he wants to learn, loves playing football and does it with a smile on his face.
"Straight after the Forest game he was in the dressing room, asking me what time we were in again for training and it's just great to have young and enthusiastic players about the place.
"I wish we had lots of players like that coming through at this club."