Cobblers striker van Veen ‘touch and go’ to be fit for trip to Bristol Rovers

Kevin van Veen
Kevin van Veen

Striker Kevin van Veen is back on the training ground - but Cobblers boss Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink admits he is only ‘touch and go’ for Saturday’s Sky Bet League One trip to Bristol Rovers.

The former Scunthorpe United man has been out of action since suffering a knee injury in his full debut fo rthe club in the 3-1 win at AFC Wimbledon on February 10.

Van Veen resumed training on Monday, taking part in part of the session with the rest of the Town squad, and he’s due to step up his comeback on Tuesday.

Hasselbaink will be keeping his fingers crossed his fellow Dutchman can recover fully by the weekend, but he is not overly confident.

“Kevin’s recovery is not going as quickly as we would have hoped,” said the Cobblers boss.

“He trained on Monday for the first time, and hopefully today (Tuesday) we can push him a little bit more, and then we will see how reacts after Wednesday for Thursday.

“It will be touch and go (for the weekend).”

Asked what training van Veen had been able to undertake, Hasselbaink added: “On Monday he was involved in the warm-up and the passing drill, the beginning part of the session.

“Then he had individual work with the fitness coaches.”

Asked how frustrating it is to be a manager who makes a such key signing, as Hasselbaink did in bringing in van Veen, and then see him get injured so quickly, the Town boss was pragmatic.

“It happens,” he said. “It just gives an opportunity to somebody else.”

Aside from van Veen and long-term pair Aaron Pierre and Aaron Phillips, Hasselbaink has no other injury concerns.

The Cobblers were without a game last weekend as their trip to Blackpool was a victim of the big freeze that hit the UK, but Saturday’s opponents Bristol Rovers did play.

They were in action at Milton Keynes Dons, and Hasselbaink was at Stadium MK to watch them seal a 1-0 success thanks to Ellis Harrison’s goal.