Mallinder hopeful Foden injury is not serious

NO WAY THROUGH - Luther Burrell is tackled during Saints' win at Bath (Picture: Linda Dawson)
NO WAY THROUGH - Luther Burrell is tackled during Saints' win at Bath (Picture: Linda Dawson)

Jim Mallinder says he is hopeful Ben Foden’s ankle is not broken after the England full-back limped off in the 18-14 win at Bath on Friday night.

England full-back Foden was clattered by powerhouse wing Tom Biggs early in the second half and there was immediate concern as the Saints medical team surrounded him.

He was helped off the field, unable to put any weight on his right leg, meaning Tom May was brought on in his place.

Foden later left the ground in a surgical boot, but director of rugby Mallinder was optimistic that was merely a precaution.

“It’s an ankle injury, I don’t know a lot more than that,” said the Saints boss. “The doctor’s hopeful it’s not broken.

“Quite clearly if there’s a dislocation there you can pick that up straight away. We’re hopeful it is just a strain and that’s all I know. We’re hopeful.”

With Foden off the field, Saints ground out a third Aviva Premiership win in a row, with May adding a late drop goal to give them a little breathing space.

Bath went ahead inside 70 seconds through a Nick Abendanon try, but fly-half Stephen Myler slotted five penalties to help the away side claim a fine victory.

Myler got his first start of the season in place of Ryan Lamb, who was relegated to the bench, and Mallinder was delighted to see the selection pay off.

“Stephen Myler kept the points ticking over,” he said. “We could have opted to re-scrum or go to the touchline, but instead we went for the three points and it paid off.

“Ryan Lamb’s done well for us down at Kingsholm and at home last week against Exeter but we felt with the turnaround it was time to bring Stephen Myler back and he’s backed up our faith in him.”

Another positive for Saints was the return of Courtney Lawes, who played for the first time since appearing against Sale in February.

The lock had suffered shin and elbow injuries since and Mallinder was glad to see the England international back.

“It was great just to see Courtney out there,” he said. “He missed the end of last season with a shin injury and he dislocated his elbow so just to see him out there is wonderful for us.”