Mallinder can’t guarantee any of Saints’ missing men will face Leicester

Tom Wood missed the game at Saracens (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)
Tom Wood missed the game at Saracens (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)

Jim Mallinder says he can’t be sure if any of Saints’ injury victims will return for Saturday’s crucial east midlands derby clash with Leicester Tigers at Franklin’s Gardens.

Mallinder was unable to call on a number of key players for the Champions Cup quarter-final at Saracens yesterday.

Dylan Hartley, Kieran Brookes and Lee Dickson were all ruled out with concussion, while George North (swollen knee) and Tom Wood (shoulder) were among the others missing.

Saints will need to beat Leicester to stay in the hunt for the Aviva Premiership top four, but Mallinder can’t be sure if his squad will be bolstered by returning players this week.

“I couldn’t honestly tell you,” said the Saints boss when asked whether he expects any of his missing men to return against Tigers.

“We had a few head injuries so they’ve got an extra week now.

“Hopefully Kieran Brookes, Lee Dickson... hopefully they’ll be better.”

On Hartley, Mallinder said: “Dylan was running round the field in the morning (before the Saracens game).

“I said it last week that we were hopeful he’d be available for us this season, as we’re hopeful with those other players.”