Cobblers boss Rob Page admitted he fears for the severity of the injury suffered by new recruit Jak McCourt after the midfielder sustained a serious-looking shoulder problem during Tuesday’s pre-season defeat to Nuneaton Town.
After going up for a header in his own penalty area in the closing stages, McCourt appeared to land awkwardly as he fell flat on his back and remained unable to move until 10 minutes after full-time.
Referee Carl Henry wisely chose to blow the final whistle early due to the nature of McCourt’s injury, which left the player needing a sling, and now Page is left to hope it’s not as bad as first feared.
He said: “We’ll wait and see with Jak. We hope it looks worse than it is and knowing him as a lad, he’s a tough so-and-so.
“But he is in pain and he’s very uncomfortable, so we’ll get him off to hospital and get him assessed and as soon as we have any news we’ll let people know.”
Northampton were more than matched by a tenacious Nuneaton side at the A1 Gasforce Stadium on Tuesday and it was the home side who deservedly earned the spoils thanks to Shaq McDonald’s first-half strike.
But Page had no concerns over his side’s lacklustre performance as the Northampton manager instead focussed on building up their fitness levels ahead of next month’s Sky bet League One opener against Fleetwood Town.
The Cobblers are in the middle of a week-long training camp at Loughborough University, and Page added: “It was a great work-out for us.
“I said to the boys before that it was a step up from what we faced on Saturday, and that’s taking nothing away from Sileby because that was a fantastic game for us.
“But this was the next step up and it was a good test, especially for some of our youth team players.
“We played them out of position and it was a good experience for them to play for the first team which is part of their learning process.
“It’s all a fitness exercise. We mixed the teams up again - it’s not about picking your best XI, it’s about giving the boys minutes and we’ve done that tonight and on Saturday.”