Andy Christie racing back to surprise return from arm injury ahead of Saracens semi-final

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Andy Christie could yet make a surprise return for Saracens in Saturday’s Premiership semi-final – just five weeks after surgery on a broken arm.

Christie’s rapid recovery has even boosted his World Cup situation, with the 24-year-old named in Scotland’s 41-man training squad ahead of the autumn tournament in France.

Flanker Christie trudged out of Saracens’ 35-20 Champions Cup win over Ospreys at StoneX Stadium on April 2, before quickly going under the knife to fix a forearm fracture.

Already back in training this week, Christie will be a long-shot to feature in Saturday’s play-off clash with Northampton, but rugby director Mark McCall refused to rule that out.

“Andy Christie’s getting close to being in contention, we’ll see if he makes it this weekend,” said McCall.

“He’s made a good recovery, I’m not saying he’s going to play this weekend but he’s getting closer. He did have a break in his arm, yes. He’s just recovered well.”

Elliot Daly handed Saracens another injury boost by returning after hamstring surgery as a youthful line-up was put to the sword 61-29 by a full-strength Bath at The Rec.

The 30-year-old utility back suffered a torn hamstring in late January, just when he had forced an England recall for the first time in a year. Daly looked sharp in 40 minutes of rugby in the west country last weekend, leaving McCall purring on his return to action.

“Elliot’s in contention for this weekend, definitely,” said McCall. “He was playing some incredible rugby around November, December time, one of our best players.

“He’d been in a great vein of form and worked his way back into the England squad, so his injury came at a cruel time. Given how long he’s been out for, to play the 40 minutes that he played against Bath, he looked like he was in December and January to be honest. He was in top form right away.”

Saracens will contest their 13th Premiership semi-final this weekend, with the Men In Black firmly reestablished after the 2020 relegation and recovery.

McCall has led Saracens to all five of their Premiership titles, and has been on hand for the near-misses too. Last year’s 15-12 final defeat by Leicester left a mark on the north Londoners, not so much for the loss as for the frustrating performance.

“We’re raring to go for another semi-final, you don’t take these things for granted,” said McCall.

“I guess it wasn’t so much losing the final, it was how we lost it, which is the thing that is driving us. It felt like we played within ourselves. It was how we lost, not because we lost.

“Anyone can lose a final, knockout games are hard to win, but when you don’t feel you have given it a proper go then you carry that all summer. I guess that has driven this season to a degree.”