Saints boss Mallinder hopeful North injury not too serious

INJURY BLOW - George North was forced to sit out the final 60 minutes of Saints' win against Harlequins (Picture: Linda Dawson)

INJURY BLOW - George North was forced to sit out the final 60 minutes of Saints' win against Harlequins (Picture: Linda Dawson)

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Jim Mallinder is remaining hopeful that the calf strain George North suffered against Harlequins won’t keep the Wales wing out for an extended period.

North felt the problem in the warm up and was forced out of the action after just 21 minutes in Friday night’s encounter at Franklin’s Gardens.

His replacement, Tom Collins, came on to score Saints’ first try as they went on to secure an 18-10 win and a place in the Amlin Challenge Cup final.

But, with a big few weeks ahead in the Premiership and in Europe, Mallinder is remaining upbeat that North will be able to play his part in the pursuit of silverware.

“George has got a calf strain and hopefully it’s not too bad,” said the Saints boss. “He picked it up in the warm-up and we thought he was alright to carry on, but clearly he wasn’t 100 per cent.”

Saints were already without a number of players for the game, with the likes of Dylan Hartley, Alex Corbisiero and Lee Dickson still missing.

But Mallinder is confident the England trio will still have a part to play in this campaign.

He said: “Hartley’s going to be a little longer and Corbisiero is touch and go (for the Bath game next Friday).

“Corbisiero is training well, we’ve just got to make sure we bring him back at the right time.

“Lee Dickson has got a bit of a groin injury. He was hoping to start on Friday, but he could be available next week.”

And on Hartley he added: “He’ll be a few weeks, but I’d be very disappointed if he didn’t play again this season for Saints.”