Saints hopeful of welcoming Lions duo back for Wasps clash
Saints could welcome back their Lions stars for Saturday's Gallagher Premiership game against Wasps at Franklin's Gardens.
Both Courtney Lawes and Dan Biggar have been in training this week and have a chance of taking to the field in front of as many as 4,000 fans on Saturday.
Lawes has been out since suffering a pectoral injury in England training back in February, while Biggar missed the most recent match, at Newcastle, due to concussion.
But Saints forwards coach Phil Dowson said: "Courtney is good. He's getting back into the swing of things after obviously being out for a long period of time.
"Courtney is moving around well and it's great to see a player of that quality back out there.
"There's a few others boys coming back from injury - Biggs has been banging around and training hard so it's making selection difficult really."
Piers Francis, who missed the game at Newcastle with a quadricep injury, has also been training this week and he could hand Saints another boost against Wasps.
But scrum-half Alex Mitchell looks likely to miss out again this weekend with the ankle problem he picked up in the win at Leicester Tigers last month.
Dowson said: "We don't want to rush him (Mitchell) back.
"We want to make sure that he's okay long term with his various ailments.
"I did see him running around and doing some tackling today so he's getting better, but he's not going to play just yet."
Saints still have a slim chance of making the top four, but they are 11 points behind fourth with just three games to go.
So how are the black, green and gold planning to approach team selection in the final few weeks of the season?
"It's a bit of both - giving guys opportunity who are playing well and you've also got to give yourself the best chance to win games," Dowson said.
"It's a balance and as with most things in coaching, you've got to take a couple of things into consideration."
Owen Franks (foot), Nick Isiekwe (shoulder) and Danny Hobbs-Awoyemi remain unavailable.