Saints have been dealt a big injury blow ahead of Sunday’s Heineken Cup showdown with Ospreys after Alex Corbisiero was ruled out with injury.
Corbisiero has had fluid drained from his knee and will be out for a period of weeks, according to England boss Stuart Lancaster.
Lancaster has selected the loosehead prop in his 34-man squad for the upcoming QBE Internationals against Australia, Argentina and New Zealand.
And the national coach remains confident Corbisiero will still be able to play his part in the series, which spans three consecutive weekends, starting on November 2.
Lancaster said: “It’s recommended that Alex has a couple of weeks’ rehab. He’s not out of the series by any stretch of the imagination,” Lancaster said.
“Everyone is optimistically hoping he will come through and be available for some if not all the games.
“At the moment, having had fluid drained off the knee, he will have a period of rehab that covers this week and leading into next week. We’ll see how we go, we’re keeping an open mind on it.
“Long term it’s obviously something he’s struggling with, but we’re optimistic that with good management - and his club Northampton have been excellent - we’ll see him through beyond 2015.
“We’re still quite a way away from the Australia game. We’ll give him plenty of time but we’ll do what’s right for Alex.
“We have a really strong group at loosehead with Mako Vunipola and Joe Marler. We’ll see how it goes with Alex.”