SAINTS boss Russell Martin said Ross Stewart took a "whack" against West Brom as he underwent a much-reduced warm-up on Friday.

The 27 year old had made substitute appearances against Leeds and the Baggies after waiting since November to return from injury.

Martin billed Stewart as ready to make an impact but he was then left on the bench for the Championship playoff semi-final second leg.

The former Sunderland man went unused after only partaking in a significantly reduced warm-up ahead of the match and at half-time. 

Saints won 3-1 without the Scot and Martin insists he will be fine to face Leeds United in the Wembley final next Sunday.

Speaking to the Daily Echo, Martin explained: "He's fine, yeah."

Daily Echo: Saints manager Russell Martin hopes to have Ross Stewart back for the finalSaints manager Russell Martin hopes to have Ross Stewart back for the final (Image: PA)

"He took a whack in the first leg, but he's taken part in some training and he was only going to be used tonight if we really, really needed him.

"We are really expecting him to be fully fit and recovered in time for the final as well. It could be two really big options for us with Che Adams."

Stewart has not played regular football since picking up an Achilles injury in January 2023, for which he underwent surgery.

Adams, who is out of contract this summer and looks set to make a free transfer with Wolves touted as advanced, also missed out.

The 27 year old did not feature in either leg after a calf injury sustained at Elland Road on the final day of the Championship season.