Cobblers boss Justin Edinburgh is confident the medical experts have finally got to the bottom of John-Joe O’Toole’s troublesome groin injury - but has admitted the midfielder could yet face another operation.
The former Bristol Rovers man has had an injection in the injury that has been bothering him for more than a month, and Edinburgh is hoping that will be a success and allow the 28-year-old to get back into full training within the next 10 days.
The injury, which is a different one to the one O’Toole had surgery on in April, flared up in mid-July and despite a series of tests and appointments with specialists, things haven’t improved.
Edinburgh now says the specialists believe they have identified exactly what is causing O’Toole discomfort and that the latest injection will do the business.
But he did have words of warning that an operation to sort the problem out, and a lengthier spell on the sidelines, is not out of the question.
“John-Joe has had an injection, and we are really hopeful that this will cure the problem he has had,” said Edinburgh.
“We will know later this week if that has cured it, when he should be able to start to step up his training, and if that’s the case then we can re-introduce him into training and it shouldn’t be too long before we see him out there playing again.
“If that’s not the case, then maybe it will be the line of going down the surgery route, which would be a big blow, but we are hoping the injection will do the trick.
“If it does work, then he will be back in a week to 10 days which is the positive. And we will know that the end of this week, early next week.”
This injury has been a huge frustration for player, the club, and the Edinburgh, not least because it is a fresh one to the one O’Toole underwent an operation on before the end of last season.
O’Toole managed all of the early pre-season training, and took part in the first couple of friendlies before feeling discomfort following the trip to Frome.
He hasn’t featured since, so what training has he been able to do?
“John-Joe has done all running, as well as some ball-work, but it is just he feels a really sharp pain in his groin area when he does anything over 15 yards,” revealed Edinburgh.
“We have been trying to pinpoint where the pain is coming from, and it has been very hard for John-Joe to pinpoint it and diagnose that, but last week we feel we found out the problem.
“The area was injected, and we are now hoping it will be cured and he can kick on.
“In terms of general fitness he will be okay, match fitness he will be down, but he is a fit lad and is a hardened boy.
“We know we can throw him in and he can pick it up, as we have kept him in a good condition.”
And the Town boss added: “This is a totally different injury, it’s the other side to where he had the operation, and that has completely cleared up.
“That is the frustrating part about it, that has been successful and feels great, it’s now the other side and sometimes you get that.
“I’m told the groin is a very technical area of the body where there are lots of muscles nerves, tendons all running through that area and it has been a real blow for him, and a huge frustration for us.”