Striker Kevin van Veen is almost certainly out of the Cobblers’ Sky Bet League One clash with Oxford United on Saturday due to a knee injury.
The Dutchman has damaged a medial ligament after taking a kick to his knee in the 3-1 win over AFC Wimbledon 10 days ago, and hasn’t trained since.
He has undergone a scan, but it is not yet known how long the former Scunthorpe United man, who has only made one start and one substitute appearance for the club, will be sidelined for.
But there is also some good news on the injury front for manager Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, with full-back Shay Facey set to make his comeback from a hamstring strain.
The former Manchester City man hasn’t featured since suffering the injury in the 1-0 defeat to Rochdale at the beginning of February, but he trained with the Town squad yesterday and is set to feature this weekend.
That is a plus for Hasselbaink, but there is no doubt the van Veen news is a serious blow, although the Town boss is hoping he won’t be ruled out for too long.
“We don’t think he’ll make it as he has injured his knee,” said the Cobblers boss, when asked about van Veen’s chances of returning on Saturday.
“We thought it was a dead leg, but he got a kick or something on his knee and it is his MCL.
“He has gone for a scan and he has got a little problem in there.
“It is not a big problem, so it is just about how much he can take, how eager he is, and how quick he heals.
“I know he is very eager, and he says he can play with a little bit of pain, but the pain is too much at the moment.”
On Facey, Hasselbaink is delighted the player is back in action, but said he will be monitored closely this week.
“Shay is okay and should be alright,” said the Cobblers boss.
“He trained on Monday with the group, and he is training again today (Tuesday), and today is obviously a big day.
“If he comes through it then he should be fine for the weekend.”
Hasselbaink’s attacking options will be boosted this weekend as Hildeberto Pereira is also available again after serving the one-match for his sending off in last week’s defeat to Gillingham.