The full extent of John-Joe O’Toole’s injury will be assessed by the Cobblers this week following his first-half withdrawal on Saturday, but striker Alex Revell faces four weeks out having undergone groin surgery.
O’Toole was withdrawn 45 minutes into Saturday’s 3-0 home defeat to Scunthorpe United after appearing to land awkwardly having gone up for an aerial challenge.
The 29-year-old has already battled groin and ankle injuries this term and last completed 90 minutes way back in April, and this latest setback will be a source of real concern for manager Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink given O’Toole’s influence and the fact his side face important games against Plymouth and Bury over the next few days.
O’Toole was seen leaving Sixfields on crutches and wearing a protective boot after full-time on Saturday with what was thought to be a heavily swollen ankle.
“You know if John-Joe comes on, then it is it not something small,” said Hasselbaink.
“He was in pain and I don’t know yet what it is but knowing him, it must be something that he couldn’t play with.
“His pain threshold is a lot more than others so it is must be something and I fear he is not going to be there on Tuesday.”
O’Toole’s absence hit the Cobblers hard on Saturday. After shading the first-half, they were blown away in the second when Cameron Burgess’ close-range finish and Duane Holmes’ brace inspired Scunthorpe to a 3-0 victory.
“We missed his presence,” admitted Hasselbaink. “It’s important to have that presence and he gives something else to the team and gives a worry to the opposition.
“Does he do everything perfectly? No. But he gives the team another dimension and we missed him.”
O’Toole is far from Town’s only injury concern. Sam Hoskins and Daniel Powell are currently sidelined by a hamstring problems, though the latter may return for Tuesday’s trip to Home Park, while Revell faces a month out and Aaron Phillips is still working his way back from a thigh issue.
Hasselbaink elaborated on those players, adding: “Revell has had an operation on his groin and he’ll at least be another four weeks.
“Sam Hoskins has a hamstring injury and he should be back in, hopefully, 10 days.
“Powell is also hamstring and we hope that he will be back in the next couple of days.”