Alex Corbisiero is on the verge of a return to action - but Saints’ derby date with Leicester Tigers could come too soon for the England prop.
Corbisiero was forced to have surgery after damaging shoulder ligaments in the Aviva Premiership victory against Bath at the end of September.
He had set himself a target of making a comeback before the Six Nations, but is ahead of schedule.
And though he will not rush Corbisiero back, Saints director of rugby Jim Mallinder is confident the 26-year-old will be involved again soon.
“He’s doing really well and he will be a couple of weeks off,” said Mallinder. “We’ve got to make sure his shoulder is fully repaired.
“He’s running about now and he’s looking very, very good. He’s feeling mentally fresh and raring to go again. It will be great to get him back.”
And when asked whether Corbisiero could be back in time to face Tigers at the Gardens on December 20, Mallinder he said: “It will probably be too soon for him.
“It will be a couple of weeks before he gets back.”