Saints have suffered a major injury blow with the news that Calum Clark will be out for ‘a couple of months’ after having shoulder surgery.
Clark, last season’s players’ and supporters’ player of the year, sustained a shoulder problem in a pre-season win at Wasps in September.
He returned to training, but suffered a setback and will now be out until the new year.
“Unfortunately Calum Clark has had to have an operation on his shoulder,” confirmed Saints director of rugby Jim Mallinder.
“It’s a shame and he’s going to be out for a couple of months.”
Jamie Gibson and Tom Wood have been filling the flanker roles at Saints in recent weeks, with Wood man of the match in last Saturday’s win against Scarlets.
The likes of Teimana Harrison and Ben Nutley will also compete for a place in the back row, but the loss of Clark is still very bad news for Saints.