Busy summer ahead for Hoskins as he targets Cobblers playing return

Sam Hoskins in action during the 2-1 defeat to Scunthorpe United in January. He was injured in training the following week, and hasn't played since
Sam Hoskins in action during the 2-1 defeat to Scunthorpe United in January. He was injured in training the following week, and hasn't played since

While most of his team-mates jet off for their sunshine breaks, Sam Hoskins is facing a summer of hard work at Sixfields - and he is more than happy to be putting the graft in.

The Cobblers forward has been out of action since suffering a cruciate ligament knee injury in training in January, and has been working on his rehabilitation ever since.

He has targeted a return during pre-season in July, and this week was out on the Sixfields pitch doing light running and some ball work, and that was a huge boost for the former Yeovil Town man.

“It is good for me to see my progress, and being out on the pitch is obviously a big step for me, having not been able to do a lot for four months,” said the 24-year-old.

“It is good for me to be out jogging, doing a bit with the ball, so we are definitely working in the right direction.”

And what about that summer of hard work?

Hoskins is being put through his paces by head physio Anders Braastad and fitness coach Pablo Garcia, and he is keeping his fingers crossed that things continue to go smoothly for him.

“I am working closely with Anders and Pablo,” said Hoskins.

“I am going to have to be in a lot (over the summer) to focus on rehab, but it is what I have to do to make sure I can come back fit and strong and be ready for next season.

“We are keeping track of the progress, but it is feeling really good to be honest.

“Touchwood, there have been no downfalls yet, so things are going in the right direction and hopefully we can keep progressing.”

Hoskins has yet to play a game under Justin Edinburgh, as he was injured in training ahead just two days ahead of the Cobblers boss’s first game in charge at Milton Keynes Dons.

It was a huge frustration for all concerned as Hoskins had emerged as one of the key players in the Town team under Rob Page, and was producing arguably his best form in the claret and white.

After suffering such a serious injury it would be easy for a player to get down in the dumps and feel sorry for himself, but Hoskins says he has had a positive outlook ever since the injury occurred.

“It is never a good time to do it (get injured), but it is part and parcel of football,” said the Dorchester-born player.

“There is no point in getting my head down and sulking about it, because it has happened.

“Now all I have to do is make sure I come back fit and strong, and hopefully hit the ground running when I come back next season.”

A big plus for Hoskins in recent weeks is that he has had some company in the Sixfields gym and out on the pitch, with John-Joe O’Toole and Leon Lobjoit also working hard.

O’Toole is doing his own rehab after undergoing a groin operation, while Lobjoit is getting his fitness up to speed ahead of a return to full-time football after he signed from UCL side Buckingham Town.

And Hoskins admitted the company is welcome, although he will be happy to work alone.

“It is always good to have the lads about,” he said. “But it’s what I have to do whether there is nobody here or the whole squad.

“I just have to make sure I get back to where I need to be.”