Jim Mallinder is hopeful that George North will be fit to face Treviso on Saturday.
The Wales wing was assessed for concussion after sustaining a cut above his eye in his country’s defeat to New Zealand on November 22.
He missed the win over South Africa last weekend and was given time off by his club, who won at London Welsh on Sunday.
But Mallinder is optimistic about the chances of North making a return in the crucial Champions Cup clash at Stadio Comunale di Monigo this weekend.
“George was in last week and he’s recovering well,” said the Saints director of rugby.
“He was away last weekend because we gave him a few days off and he’ll come in and we’ll have a good look at him.
“Hopefully he’ll be available for selection for the weekend.”
Saints were boosted by the return from injury of Sam Dickinson, who came off the bench at the Kassam Stadium last weekend.
And Mallinder is delighted to have the imposing No.8 back in action after his recovery from the neck problem that had seen him sidelined since the end of last season.
“It’s fantastic when you get players back from long-term injuries and Sam’s looking in good shape,” said Mallinder.
“He’s looking big, physical and he’ll be really delighted that he’s got his game under his belt now and he’ll be looking forward to hopefully being selected this week.”