Luther Burrell could be fit in time to take his place in the Saints side for Friday’s game against Exeter Chiefs, according to director of rugby Jim Mallinder.
The centre is recovering well from the hand injury that forced him to exit the Champions Cup win against Ospreys on October 25.
He missed England’s game against New Zealand last weekend and has not returned to Pennyhill Park ahead of Saturday’s clash with South Africa.
But Burrell could get some game time for Saints when the Chiefs come calling in the Aviva Premiership clash at Franklin’s Gardens.
“Luther is back in training and we’ll have to see on his fitness, hopefully he’ll be fine for the weekend,” said Mallinder.
“England decided at the weekend that they weren’t going to play him and therefore it was better for him to get his recovery and do as much training as he could back at the club.
“They want him to give himself as much opportunity to play at the weekend, and hopefully play well at the weekend, to put himself back into consideration for the last two games.”
Fly-half Stephen Myler was also ruled out of England contention for the game against New Zealand after picking up a hamstring strain.
He, like Burrell, is back at Saints and progressing well.
“Stephen’s had a bit of strain to his hamstring in the past couple of weeks, so he’s not been in the England camp,” said Mallinder.
“He’s been with us and he’s been nursing that injury in the early part of the week.”