Hartley to miss Tigers semi-final
May 14, 2014
Dylan Hartley is back in training but will not play against Leicester © Getty Images
Northampton Saints will be without hooker Dylan Hartley for their Aviva Premiership semi-final against Leicester on Friday evening.
Hartley has been out of action since March after fracturing his shoulder against the Tigers but was reportedly in the frame for Friday's game. But with the England tour to New Zealand on the horizon, Hartley has been warned against rushing his comeback from injury.
"I was hoping to play this week so my comeback is a matter of days," Hartley told the Guardian. "There is no point in coming back too early with big games hopefully ahead. We have booked one final and we will know this weekend whether we have another one. Further down the line is the England tour.
"I am progressing day by day. The medics said six to eight weeks when I suffered the injury and we are at six weeks, which is why I always said I was going to try to play this week. The decision about when I do play will be clear-cut and it involves the club and England: it is not a case of one side telling me to play and the other not to. There is a risk that if I come back too soon I could dislocate the shoulder making my first tackle and I still have to take contact on it."
Stuart Lancaster will be monitoring Hartley's return closely with England facing a growing crisis at hooker. Tom Youngs will miss the tour to New Zealand due to personal reasons while Rob Webber and David Paice are both injury doubts.
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