Boss Boyd gives update on Saints' injured quartet
Saints boss Chris Boyd is confident that Harry Mallinder will be able to feature for the first team before Christmas.
Mallinder has not played since September last year, when he suffered a knee injury against Harlequins.
But he is on the comeback trail and Boyd now has an idea of when he will be ready to return.
"I think he'll play before Christmas," said Boyd at Saints' season ticket holders forum on Tuesday night.
"He's running full by himself now and he'll be introduced into team training probably next week.
"He'll need to go through a couple of weeks of full contact team training before we throw him into a game.
"He's certainly not playing this weekend against Benetton and I wouldn't think he'll play next week against Leicester.
"If I was going to guess, I'd say his first game might be Leinster away (on December 14)."
Scrum-half Alex Mitchell is another player who has not been able to feature for Saints this season, having suffered a serious knee injury during England's win against the Barbarians back in June.
"Alex Mitchell will be our longest injury," Boyd said.
"He's probably not due to come back until the end of January.
"He had quite a nasty patella rupture but he went to the specialist last week and got a real positive clearance.
"He's on the last bit of his recovery."
Hooker Reece Marshall has also yet to play this season.
"Reece Marshall tore the hamstring off the bone in that last game against Exeter last season and it's been a real problem for him, but he's probably three weeks away," Boyd said.
Henry Taylor, who moved to Saints from Saracens during the summer, suffered a broken thumb in the recent game at Bath.
And Boyd said: "Henry Taylor broke his thumb and had to have a screw put in it so he's five or six weeks away.
"He's (aiming for) Gloucester around Christmas time (December 28)."