Jim Mallinder says Ken Pisi is fit enough to return to the Saints squad for Saturday’s Premiership game against Gloucester.
But tighthead prop Brian Mujati remains sidelined due to the calf injury he picked up in the game against Saracens on December 31.
Pisi was placed in a surgical boot after injuring his ankle in the 30-19 victory at Exeter on January 5 and has seen his spot in the Saints side filled by James Wilson.
But the Samoan is now ready to make a comeback should Mallinder opt to select him.
“They’re both getting a lot better, a lot closer,” said the Saints boss on the fitness of Mujati and Pisi.
“Brian Mujati, probably not. Ken Pisi is running around now, he trained fully on Wednesday so he’s available for selection.”
Pisi’s return will boost Saints at a crucial time in the season.
The club currently sit fifth in the Aviva Premiership standings and know a win against Gloucester, who are just a point behind in sixth, is essential.
“It’s vital,” said Mallinder. “It’s a really important time.
“All clubs are similar to us in terms of disruption. A number of clubs have got a lot of injury problems at the moment, but that’s what happens at this time of the season. It’s up to us.
“Generally we’ve had some good runs after Christmas and that’s what we need this season. The players we’ve got here are good enough to win the games and to see us in that top four.”