Southampton forward Dom Ballard is back out on the grass and training with the first team, eight months on from his season-ending injury sustained while on loan with Reading.

The 19-year-old scored five goals in 12 appearances for the Royals in what looked to be a promising start to his first season of regular minutes in the EFL.

However, in the side's 2-1 win over Wycombe Wanderers in November, the first away win for over 12 months, Ballard snapped his patella tendon on the edge of the box and was stretchered off with gas and air.

(Image: jasonpix)

The England Under-19 international missed an impressive turnaround for both parent club Southampton and loan club Reading, with the Saints earning promotion back to the Premier League through the play-offs while the Royals overturned a 10-point deficit to retain League One status.

Rejoining the group at St Mary's, supporters of both clubs were pleased to see the pacy forward back in pre-season action for Russell Martin's side this week.

Reading remain under embargo until at least January, but are still unable to enter the transfer market until progress is made with a takeover.

Reports suggest that former Wycombe owner Rob Couhig is weeks away from completing a buy-out from Dai Yongge.