Jim Mallinder says he expects England prop Alex Corbisiero to return in time for Saints’ game at Bath on May 2.
Corbisiero has been out of action since injuring his knee in the autumn international clash with Argentina at Twickenham back in November.
He has not played for Saints since the Heineken Cup defeat at Castres on October 12, with the Waller brothers, Alex and Ethan, proving able deputies.
But Mallinder is confident Corbisiero is making good progress and will be ready in time for the trip the Recreation Ground at the start of next month.
“As we’ve said all along, we expect Corbs to be back before the end of the season,” said the Northampton director of rugby.
“We’re hopeful he’ll be back for the Bath game.”
And Mallinder is also remaining upbeat on the fitness of skipper Dylan Hartley, who injured his shoulder in the defeat to Leicester at the end of last month.
“He’ll be back towards the end of the season,” said the Saints boss.
“It won’t be the next couple of weeks, but he’s improving.
“He had a bit of sunshine on his shoulder (on Saints’ recent warm weather break to Lanzarote) and it seems to have done him well.
“We’d hope to have him back some time towards the end of the season, but it won’t be the next two weeks.”