Cobblers right-back Brendan Moloney has undergone a knee operation and will miss the start of the season.
Manager Chris Wilder revealed the news following Tuesday night’s 5-2 pre-season friendly win at Worthing, and spoke of his frustration at a specialist’s wrong advice at the back end of last season.
The knee problem is one that Moloney picked up in the penultimate game of last season, the 3-1 defeat at Burton Albion, but Wilder was assured the problem would be cured by rest.
That has proven to be poor advice as, after returning for pre-season and feeling some discomfort, Moloney, who played in Sunday’s 1-0 win at Sileby Rangers, sought the advice of a second specialist on Tuesday, and was operated on immediately.
“I am a bit disappointed with that, because Brendan picked up an injury against Burton, and then missed the last game of the season,” said Wilder.
“One of the things we said back then was that we don’t want any injuries carrying into pre-season, and we got some bad advice if I am honest.
“It was advice that wasn’t correct, and we had to go along with that, and the advice was for Brendan to rest.
“He has now been to see another specialist today (Tuesday), and has been operated on.
“So Brendan is going to be out for between four and six weeks, and that is a big blow for us.
“I am disappointed in the advice that we got, but we have to move on, and Brendan will rehab pretty quickly and get himself back before the end of August.”
The Moloney news was the only dark cloud over an encouraging night on the south coast, with a useful Worthing team being swept aside thanks to goals from trialists Gozie Ugwu and Sam Hoskins, as well as Ricky Holmes, Marc Richards and Joel Byrom.
Ivan Toney, who is the subject of transfer interest from Newcastle United, played his first pre-season game of the summer for the Cobblers, completing the first 45 minutes.
And with still no official bid forthcoming from the Magpies, the striker will continue to work with the rest of the Town squad at their Brighton training camp ahead of Saturday’s third friendly at Burgess Hill.
The match at Worthing was to mark the opening of their new artificial playing surface, and Wilder was delighted with how his team played.
“That was really enjoyable, the first game on the 4G and it is a bit different to what we are used to, but I thought the players adapted to it really well,” said the Cobblers boss.
“They showed a really good attitude again and played some decent stuff going forward and created quite a few chances.
“The finishing was a bit better than it was on Sunday, and it was a competitive game so we have got quite a lot out of it.
“It was a step up, and that is no disrespect to our opponents on Sunday, and Worthing wanted to win and get off to a good start playing on their new pitch, and it was a healthy crowd.
“There are obviously bits and pieces we can improve on, and I wasn’t too happy about the goals we conceded.
“We switched off on one long ball, and then obviously the penalty wasn’t great, but we can clean those things up and that is what pre-season is all about.
“Going forward we have created lots of chances, and I was delighted with that.”
Ugwu was withdrawn just a few minutes after he opened the scoring after five minutes, to be replaced by Hoskins, but Wilder said that was just a precaution due to the player suffering a tight hamstring.