Length of lay-off still unknown for injured Hartley

INJURED hooker Dylan Hartley faces an anxious wait to discover how long he will be sidelined for after suffering a bruised lung in England’s 30-22 defeat to New Zealand at Twickenham on Saturday.

The 27-year-old, who won his 50th cap against the All Blacks, was forced off early in the second half and replaced by Tom Youngs following a heavy tackle on opposition captain Richie McCaw.

Hartley was initially taken to hospital, but yesterday returned to club side Northampton Saints, following assessment by England’s medical team.

However, Hartley must still undergo further examination later in the week to determine the severity of his injury.

“Dylan has been discharged into the care of Northampton,” a Rugby Football Union statement confirmed.

“He will require a few days’ rest and will be reassessed by his club’s medical team next week.”

Northampton, who beat London Irish 26-11 yesterday to stay second in the Aviva Premiership table, welcome the league’s lowest scorers Newcastle Falcons to Franklin’s Gardens next Saturday.