Northampton Saints hopeful of Chris Ashton recovery

Northampton Saints wing Chris Ashton is having a back injury assessed this week to determine whether or not he can play in the Premiership semi-final.

The 25-year-old scored a try in the win over Worcester, but left play injured and missed Wednesday's training.

Assistant coach Paul Grayson told BBC Northampton: "He'll train at the back-end of the week and hopefully be available for selection.

"You've got to do everything you can to make sure players are available."

Grayson continued: "If that means missing out today so you can train tomorrow, then that's the way you do it."

Ashton, who is joining Saracens at the end of the season, has scored seven tries this season, including three in his last three matches.

"He's got that ability to finish, or he's rediscovered it in the last couple of weeks," Grayson added.

"There's no substitute for hard work. We have the same messages, week on week, for every player in our squad. We try to improve them all constantly.

"Chris has got his head down and worked hard, and it's no surprise that's coincided with him getting back over the try-line again."

Saints are already without first-team players and England stars Tom Wood and Courtney Lawes due to injury, and Calum Clark and Dylan Hartley due to suspension for the trip to the Stoop.

"You want all your big players available," continued Grayson. "We've got lots missing, unfortunately for them, but we've got a team who are eager and ready to play."

Saints are competing in their third successive Premiership play-offs, although they are yet to reach a final.

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