Junior Morias is in line to make his Cobblers debut against Wycombe Wanderers in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday evening, while defender Shay Facey should also return from injury.
Morias, a frustrated bystander for the first two weeks of the campaign, has had to bide his time and build up match fitness having struggled with an ankle injury towards the latter end of last season.
The 23-year-old, who played 45 minutes in a behind-closed-doors friendly last week, signed from rivals Peterborough United last month and is desperate to make his mark as a Town player, and it seems he’ll get a chance to do so at Adams Park this evening.
Manager Dean Austin said: “Junior is on a lead at the moment and he’s dying to get off it! He’s in my office more than what I am, banging on the door and telling me he’s ready to play.
“That’s a great sign and he’s almost ready to go but the thing with him is that he had an injury at the end of last season and missed a chunk of the summer so he’s only really three-quarters of the way through pre-season.
“I’ve got the likes of Billy (Waters), (Sam) Hoskins, (Andy) Williams and (Kevin) van Veen so we just felt it was better for him to stay behind, get his work in on Friday and Saturday and then we want him to feature on Tuesday.
Junior is on a lead at the moment and he’s dying to get off it! He’s in my office more than what I am, banging on the door and telling me he’s ready to play.
“He’s stayed behind on Saturday and worked but he rang me up and wished me all the best and I told him to get off the phone and I’d see him on Monday.”
Facey is also yet to play this season after picking up an injury in pre-season. Austin added: “Facey is there so he will feature at some point on Tuesday, whether it’s from the start or from the bench. We’re just looking at his load and how much he’s done but he looks in good shape.”
John-Joe O’Toole limped off towards the end of Saturday’s draw at Carlisle United but Austin gave an encouraging update on both him and fellow midfielder Shaun McWilliams.
He added: “Shaun’s injury is not as bad as anticipated and he’s making rapid progress. He won’t play Tuesday but there’s a good chance he could make Saturday - I think we missed him against Carlisle.
“JJ has been managing a bit of inflammation in his ankle and shin and it just stiffened up as the game went on and got a bit worse.
“There’s no point take any risks with him so we took him off but he has a very good chance of playing on Tuesday and I expect him to be available.”