Chris Boyd has hailed Rory Hutchinson for taking his big chance at Saints.
And although the Saints boss believes Hutchinson still has some way to go before becoming the complete player, he has been hugely impressed with the centre's recent form.
Hutchinson has this week been named Gallagher Premiership player of the month for February, following in the footsteps of fellow Saint Cobus Reinach, who won the award for December.
And Saints boss Boyd said: "I had a chat to Rory earlier this week and I thought he'd been here for three or four years but he's been here for five and he's had a pretty horrid run with injuries over a long period of time and hasn't been able to get himself going.
"On the back of being injured he hasn't had opportunities so it's been a frustrating time for him.
"This year looked like it was going to shape up the same way because he was injured for long periods of time at the start. When I came here in pre-season he was injured, and in the early part of the season.
"But a little window of opportunity opened up for Hutch and in the past month it's fair to say he's made the most of his opportunities and he's played pretty well."
Cambridge-born Hutchinson has come through the Saints Academy but has often been blighted by injury.
He suffered a knee problem against Glasgow Warriors during pre-season, preventing him from making an instant impression on new boss Boyd.
But the 23-year-old centre, who has represented Scotland at Under-18 and Under-20 level, has been back in action in recent months, making seven appearances this season.
And Boyd added: "I think he's a genuine football player.
"He's a pretty relaxed rooster but he's got a bag of skills and a bag of tricks.
"He's got a lot of talent and a lot of ability but, by his own admission, he needs to become a better professional around his detail and stuff like that.
"He's far from the complete article but he's playing with confidence at the moment.
"He's had a good little patch and it's great for him and it's great for us."