Saints hooker Hartley ‘could be back at any time’

Dylan Hartley is back in action after a rib injury (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)

Dylan Hartley is back in action after a rib injury (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)

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Dorian West says Dylan Hartley could be ‘back at any time’ from the concussion that has kept him out for more than a month.

Hartley sustained a blow to the head in the defeat to Saracens on November 7 and has been sidelined ever since.

He continues to go through concussion protocols, but has not yet been ready to take part in full contact training.

And that means he is set to miss Saturday’s Champions Cup game at Racing 92, with West still unable to put an exact date on the England hooker’s return.

“Dylan has been going through his concussion protocols for the last few weeks,” the Saints forwards coach said. “He has not been quite there. He could be back at any time.

“He has had a few issues along the way. He has not been quite right, he has been pretty close.

“It is one of those where you have to manage day by day and see where he gets to.

“He is in the mix.

“He has missed the last four games. He is getting closer and closer.”

And West added: “It (a lengthy lay-off) is never ideal. You always have to be a bit cautious of it and I think the protocols were put in place because of those things.

“We don’t rush people back these days if they have got any symptoms. We are always cautious. He is being well looked after.”