Cobblers boss Rob Page has been handed a big boost with the news that midfielder Jak McCourt should be back in action before the end of August.
The 21-year-old summer signing from Barnsley dislocated his shoulder when landing awkwardly following an aerial challenge in the friendly at Nuneaton two weeks ago, and it was initally diagnosed that he would have to undergo an operation.
That would have led to McCourt being out of action for up to four months, but Page confirmed today that the player did not go under the knife.
McCourt is instead having the injury treated around the clock, and his shoulder seems to be healing well which means he could be back in action by the end of August.
“Originally it was going to be surgery, and Jak was looking at being out for four months,” said Page.
“We have now opted to go down another route, and it seems to be working at the minute which is great news.
“It won’t be anywhere near four months now, and Jak is thinking he’ll be back for the first game of the season in two weeks, but I think that is a little bit ambitious!
“But certainly within a month we will have him back fit and raring to go.
“It’s great news for Jak because he is keen to show his new football club what he can do, and we saw glimpses of it in pre-season.
“I thought that just as he was getting into his fitness and finding his feet the injury came at a bad time for him.
“But he will get over it, and the good thing he is still keeping himself fit and ticking over, so from that side of things he won’t miss out too much, and we will have him back as soon as we can.”
McCourt is one of six Town players to have suffered injury in pre-season, with the others being Sam Hoskins, Raheem Hanley, Rod McDonald, Alfie Potter and Brendan Moloney.
Potter, who who suffered a tear to a thigh muscle, is likely to be out of action the longest, but Page believes the others could well be fit in time for the first Sky Bet League Two match of the season against Fleetwood on August 6.
“The others are flying and getting fit pretty sharpish,” said the Town boss.
“They are raring to go and by Thursday this week we will have a couple back in training with us, and then by the end of the following week we should have some others back in as well.”
The Cobblers continue their pre-season build up with their second Sixfields match on Tuesday night when they host Championship side Wolverhampton Wanderers (ko 7.30pm).