Richards relieved to be back in action for Cobblers
The 17-goal hitman emerged from the bench in the 79th minute of Tuesday night’s 1-1 draw at Oxford United.
It was his first action since an Achilles tear ruled him out after the win over Portsmouth early last month.
And Richards admits it was tough to watch on as the Cobblers, who only won two of eight games in his absence, saw their play-off charge fade.
“I played the last three games with the injury and tried to play through it,” explained the 32-year-old. “I was getting nowhere in the games and I felt like I wasn’t at 100 per cent.
“It came to the Portsmouth game and enough was enough because I hadn’t trained for 10 days before that.
“It was time for a scan and that showed what it was.
“It’s been a frustrating four or five weeks because I wanted to be out there helping as much as possible but you’ve got to bite the bullet and get on with it.
“I’ve supported the lads as much as possible - I was in and around the dressing room when there was games - and I didn’t feel like I was missing out on the banter and all that.
“It’s nice to be back.”
And he says it is now just a case of getting back up to speed in the final three games of the Sky Bet League Two season.
“There were no problems on the pitch (on Tuesday), just my lungs,” said Richards.
“I’d not trained at all with the lads - I had just done a couple of half sessions and I was pushing to come back as soon as possible.
“I’ve spoken to the gaffer during the past couple of days and he was happy to use me sparingly.”