Gorge Kruis set for Saracens comeback from knee injury in bid to prove Lions fitness before squad announcement

Duncan Bech
Kruis training with England in November: Getty Images

George Kruis is poised to make his comeback from a knee injury just in time to demonstrate his fitness before the British and Irish Lions squad is announced.

Kruis will start Saracens' Aviva Premiership clash with Northampton on Sunday if he comes through training unscathed this week to make his first appearance since December.

The 27-year-old lock missed the entirety of England's RBS 6 Nations title march, but he retains hope of being included in the Lions party bound for New Zealand that will be named by Warren Gatland on Wednesday.

Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall believes the timing of the injury may even benefit Kruis and Gatland's tourists.

"Had George not been injured and he'd maintained his form, which was at a very high level, people would probably have considered him to be nailed on to go," McCall said.

"Now he's had that injury he's up against some players who have played quite well. But they know his quality as well and the Lions tour is a long way off.

"He's got seven weeks to get really match fit, so in some respects it might just be perfect for both parties."

(Getty Images)

Kruis has missed four months of the season due to ankle, cheekbone and knee injuries, but returns at a key stage of Saracens' quest to complete successive Premiership and Champions Cup doubles.

Once Saints have been negotiated - victory would nudge Saracens closer towards a home play-off on the domestic front - the champions head to Dublin for a seismic European semi-final against Munster.

"It's exciting to have George back because we haven't seen much of him this year. It's been an unfortunate time for him," McCall said.

"To have him back for the run-in is really important, especially with the Munster game coming up, so hopefully he'll be able to get some minutes under his belt before that.

"Lock is the one position where England are incredibly strong and they have lots of options, but George has been picked when he's been available. He came into the autumn halfway through post an injury and did a good job."

Mako Vunipola is set to miss Sunday's trip to Franklin's Gardens but should be available to face Munster six days later.

The England loosehead was replaced four minutes into the second half of last weekend's victory over Harlequins due to a knee problem, but it is only a short-term ailment.

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