The Saints captain is recuperating after surgery on the ankle damage he suffered playing against Leicester on January 22.
"It was a bad injury," Puel said. "But now it's okay. The surgery is finished, he can work normally, he can start the gym work and rehab to come back for next season....and with us.
"He is our captain. He is important for us. He is a fantastic player. We will wait until the beginning of the season to see him again on the pitch. He has a long contract and I think the directors want to keep him".