North could return when Northampton face Sale

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George North could be set to return for Northampton Saints when they face Sale Sharks in the Premiership on Friday.

North was stood down by the Saints this month and was sent to an independent expert after suffering the latest in a series of head injuries in the defeat to Leicester Tigers on December 3.

The Wales international wing played on following a Head Injury Assessment, despite television replays appearing to show him unconscious following a mid-air collision with Adam Thompstone.

Despite debate surrounding the handling of the situation and possible repercussions for Northampton, who admitted they got it wrong, North is back in training and could be available for their next outing.

"He's been training. We did give him a bit of time off, but he's been training since last week," said director of rugby Jim Mallinder.

"George went to see the specialist after it happened and it was suggested he had a little bit of time off.

"He's going back to see the specialist [on Tuesday] just to check everything is OK.

"I'm not making decisions on whether he plays or not, that's out of my hands. That's down to the trained professionals to make the right judgements."