Cobblers boss Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink admits it is ‘touch and go’ as to whether goalkeeper Matt Ingram will be fit to play in Saturday’s Sky Bet League One date with in-form Blackburn Rovers.
The on-loan shot-stopper damaged his shoulder in the 0-0 draw with Bury on November 25, and hasn’t played since.
A lot of people would have crumbled after that, but it didn’t affect him, it didn’t affect the team, and he pushed on and showed character, which is goodJimmy Floyd Hasselbaink on David Cornell
Ingram is currently back at Loftus Roaad undergoing treatment, and although Hasselbaink says the injury is not a long-term one, this weekend may come too soon.
“Matt has gone back to QPR, and he is being assessed there,” said the Cobblers boss.
“He has some kind of problem with the muscles in his shoulder, and it’s not bad.
“We don’t know if he will make it on Saturday, that will be touch and go, as he needs to put a little more strength in his shoulder.
“He took a big whack on it, and he is a strong boy so it must have been a big whack, but he should be back soon, if it is not against Blackburn, then it will be against Doncaster (on Boxing Day).”
David Cornell has been deputising for Ingram in his absence, and Hasselbaink is happy for the Welshman to continue, despite the part he played in Walsall’s early opener at Sixfields last weekend.
Between them, Cornell and central defender Aaron Pierre made a hash of a long ball over the top which led to the Saddlers scoring inside two minutes, but Hasselbaink was happy with how his goalkeeper recovered from that setback.
“David played well, after the little mistake,” said the Town manager.
“A lot of people would have crumbled after that, but it didn’t affect him, it didn’t affect the team, and he pushed on and showed character, which is good.”
Elsewhere, Matt Crooks is suspended for the match after his sending off against Walsall, while Hasselbaink is ‘hopeful’ Sam Hoskins could be available to take on Rovers.
The former Southampton man is recovering from an ankle strain, and Hasselbaink revealed on Tuesday morning he is running again, and is expected to train with the rest of the first team on Thursday.
Daniel Powell is not ready to return, as the former Milton Keynes Dons man has still not recovered from the hamstring strain he picked up in the November 11 win at Oxford United, and although he is close, he is not right.
“There is a question mark over Daniel still, because it is to do with his tendon, and that is always a little more risky” said Hasselbaink.
“It is so close, but yet so far, and we have to be a little bit careful with him.
“He is training regularly, but he is not sprrinting fully yet. He trained on Monday with the fitness coach, and is doing strides which is okay, but he kicks the ball he feels it a bit, so we have to be careful.”