The big defender has missed our last two games against Charlton and Newcastle with a sore Achilles.
Boss Glenn Hoddle reported: "Dean is slowly getting there but an Achilles takes time and he has to be a doubt at this stage.
"He'd love to be there I'm sure but he'll only do himself justice and the team justice if he's 100 per cent fit."
Darren Anderton is also doubtful after a bout of 'flu while Christian Ziege is not expected to return this season after his horror thigh injury.
Gary Doherty may return to the squad after recovering from a knee problem but Anthony Gardner (knee), Jamie Redknapp (broken toe) and Matthew Etherington (ankle) remain out.
Apart from that, fatigue is the main problem after three games in six days.
Glenn added: "Some of the players have played every game, so there is a little fatigue.
"Southampton will have had an extra day's rest on us because we played on the Sunday and that seems to be happening to us at the moment.
"I think the effort the lads have put in has been marvellous and performance-wise, although the first half against Charlton was poor, we've done as well as we could have."
Dean Richards remains the big question mark for Glenn Hoddle ahead of our New Year's Day clash at Southampton.