Dowson delivers full injury update ahead of Saints' trip to Munster

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Manny Iyogun is set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines after suffering ankle and Achilles injuries during the 35-12 defeat at Exeter Chiefs last Saturday.

The talented young loosehead prop came off the bench in the 54th minute of the match but had to be helped from the field nine minutes later.

Dowson was not optimistic about the injury after the game and at Tuesday's media session, he confirmed that Iyogun will now be out for some time.

"It's a longer term injury," the Saints boss said.

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Manny IyogunManny Iyogun
Manny Iyogun

"He is seeing the specialist today so we'll know the full prognosis after that, but it wasn't a good injury for Manny.

"It was his ankle and Achilles."

Fraser Dingwall remains a doubt for Saturday's Heineken Champions Cup trip to Munster after he suffered a foot problem at Sandy Park.

"Fraser Dingwall has a foot injury so he hasn't trained today, but he will be reassessed tomorrow," Dowson said.

But there appears to be better news on Tommy Freeman, who was forced off during the second half for a head injury assessment and did not return to the field.

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"He actually passed his HIA post-game so he's come through well," Dowson said.

Saints already had a lengthy injury list going into the Gallagher Premiership game at Exeter as Juarno Augustus (hamstring), James Fish (concussion), James Grayson (foot), Courtney Lawes (gluteal), Sam Matavesi (hamstring), David Ribbans (rib) and Fin Smith (concussion) were all ruled out.

And when asked whether any of those players could return this weekend, Dowson said: "There's a couple of guys coming back to fitness, including Fin Smith, who has come through his concussion protocols and should be there or thereabouts. But anything can happen with regards to the concussion stuff and any late symptoms would rule him out.

"Courtney Lawes is getting closer and closer. I hope he'll be involved this weekend. He's finished training today, done a full session.

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"It's obviously been a long time since Courtney last started and there have been lots of bumps in the road so we're going to wait and see how he goes tomorrow in terms of how he reacts to training.

"It's pretty wet under foot so you want to be careful with muscle injuries and we're looking after him.

"We're giving him every opportunity but there's no guarantees because it's been such a fragmented return to play.

"The worst-case scenario for Saints and England would be for him to reinjure that and have an even longer convalescent period so we're being ultra-careful with him.

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"He knows the situation, he's very experienced and professional so we're wrapping it in cotton wool and seeing how it goes.

"Dave Ribbans missed out with a rib injury so he's still going through the contact return-to-play, but he's there or thereabouts. I don't think he'll be too far away.

"When you train, you have the risk or irritating it again so he's been on a slow return-to-play in terms of intensity because we don't want to go sending him back into training for it to happen again."