Jim Mallinder has refused to rule out bringing in a temporary replacement for injured prop Alex Corbisiero.
Mallinder has confirmed Corbisiero will be out for ‘three to four months’ after having surgery on a knee problem sustained during training with England.
That leaves just Alex Waller and his brother Ethan as viable options in the loosehead department.
And though he does not envisage making a move into the market soon, Mallinder will not write off the possibility of doing so at some point.
“There’s always a chance we can bring people in,” said the Saints boss.
“I think you can get injury dispensation if players are going to be out for above 12 weeks and it looks like Alex will be in that area. But we’re not in a rush to do that.
“We’ve got some quality in the Waller brothers and Tom Warren, who’s been playing well for Moseley.
“We’ve got some of our tightheads who can move across and play on the loosehead so we’ve got lots of options there.
“It (bringing someone in) is not something we’d definitely rule out, but at this stage we’re not looking to replace him.”
Another injury issue for Saints comes in the form of Ben Foden, who limped off with a knee injury in the 18-0 win against Newcastle last weekend. Foden had a scan on Monday and has since been sent to a specialist to determine the extent of the posterior cruciate ligament problem he has picked up.
“Ben’s got a bit of damage in there,” said Mallinder. “We don’t know the extent to that so he’s seen the specialist.
“It’s massively disappointing, but you can’t dwell on it.
“It’s the nature of the business and that’s why we’ve got a strong squad.
“That’s why you keep the players playing in the LV= Cup and in the ‘A’ League because you need a strong squad and players ready to come in.
“We’re prepared for it, of course we’ll miss Ben Foden because he’s a class player for us and we’re really disappointed that it’s happened, but we’ve got the players who can step in and hopefully step up.”