Jim Malliner: 'Ben Foden injury not serious'

Ben Foden
© PA Photos
Northampton Saints boss Jim Mallinder denies that Ben Foden's ankle injury is serious.

Northampton Saints boss Jim Mallinder has played down suggestions that Ben Foden's ankle injury will keep him out of the team for an extended period.

The 30-year-old missed the 27-11 defeat to Gloucester Rugby at the weekend, promopting claims that he had suffered another blow in his return from a long-term ankle injury.

However, Mallinder told BBC Sport: "I don't think it's going to be major. England just requested he needs more time.

"Ben will be the first to admit he has not been 100% since he came back. We've given him extra rest and rehab this week and I'm hopeful he will be playing for us next week.

"He's one of our best players. Of course I'd have liked him to play. But I understand where England are coming from and it's in the EPS (England Elite Playing Squad) period and therefore they have that shout."

Foden has 30 England caps to his name.

Dylan Hartley
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