Cobblers boss Chris Wilder says Marc Richards could be fit to face Oxford United at the Kassam Stadium on Tuesday night.
But he says Saturday’s trip to Stevenage will come too soon for the striker, who has netted 17 times in Sky Bet League Two this season.
Richards has not played since the 1-0 home win against Portsmouth on March 3 after suffering an Achilles tear.
But he could be back to boost Cobblers’ play-off bid next week, while Ben Tozer, who suffered a knee injury in February, is also nearing a return.
“Ben Tozer trains today, which is a big boost for us,” said Wilder on Thursday. “Marc Richards is another two or three days on with his rehabilitation and getting closer to being involved.
“He won’t be involved at the weekend, but he might be involved for Oxford on Tuesday.
“All the players in that squad are desperate to contribute and get themselves back fit.
“We don’t entertain anyone who thinks their season is over and wants to have a bit of a jolly up.
“Players work extremely hard when they’re not available for selection and they’ll be looking to get themselves fit as soon as possible.”
John-Joe O’Toole missed Monday’s 1-0 defeat to Cambridge United with a hamstring injury and he will be assessed ahead of the game at Stevenage.
“He’s got a problem with his hamstring so he’s another one we’ll assess,” said Wilder.
“Diego (De Girolamo) was involved on Monday, which was really good, and he comes into our thoughts as well.
“We’ve got a change of shape in us and we did that on Monday, but we have the shape that has done particularly well since Christmas.
“There’s a lot of thinking to be done because it is a big game, but we’ve got to take a lot of things into consideration.”