Big injury boost for Cobblers as O’Toole closes in on comeback

John-Joe O'Toole is close to a return (picture: Sharon Lucey)
John-Joe O'Toole is close to a return (picture: Sharon Lucey)

Cobblers have been handed a big injury boost with the news that John-Joe O’Toole has returned to full training.

But the midfield man will not be ready to face AFC Wimbledon at Sixfields on Saturday, according to boss Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink.

O’Toole, who signed a new two-year deal in April, has yet to feature for Town this season after having a groin operation.

His most recent competitive appearance in Cobblers colours came back in April, in the 1-1 draw against Shrewsbury Town.

But the 29-year-old is now close to making his comeback, which will be a timely one as his team are currently on a run of seven games without a win.

Cobblers have not scored in any of their past five Sky Bet League One matches and the return of O’Toole, who has scored 24 goals in 94 league starts for Town, will be a welcome one.

“John-Joe is back in full training so that’s a big plus,” said Hasselbaink.

“He had a groin operation, a hernia I think, but he’s back now and he was in full training yesterday (Monday) with the group.

“We’re taking him out, putting him in, taking him out, working out the workload, but it’s looking good.

“He’s at least another week away. At least.

“We’re trying to get game time into him. We’re having an 11 v 11 now.”

Hasselbaink also provided further injury updates on Brendan Moloney, Chris Long, Shaun McWilliams and Sam Hoskins.

“He’s not training,” Hasselbaink said of Moloney, who was forced off 42 minutes into Saturday’s 6-0 defeat to Bristol Rovers at Sixfields. “We want to know for sure what he has so we sent him for a scan this morning.

“We don’t think he has a tear, but we don’t know for sure. We think he might be okay for Saturday.

“Chris Long is back running so he is touch-and-go.

“Shaun McWilliams is fully back now, Sam Hoskins is fully back so there we go.”