Cobblers boss Chris Wilder admits the latest injury to central defender Zander Diamond ‘is a bit of a worry’.
The Scotsman picked up a dead leg during the first half of the 2-0 defeat to Plymouth Argyle at Sixfields on August 22, and he hasn’t played since.
Hopes that the player would just be able to shake the problem off have seemingly been dashed, and he has undergone scans to measure the extent of the injury.
Wilder is still confident it will be a shorter term problem rather than a longer one, but when asked if Diamond will be available for Saturday’s Sky Bet League Two clash with Dagenham & Redbridge at Sixfields, the Town boss revealed: “Zander won’t make it, and we are waiting for results on the scan.
“That (the injury) has took it’s time, and is a little bit of a worry if we’re honest.”
Diamond has picked up a series of niggling muscle injuries since signing for the Cobblers from Burton Albion early last year, but has made 38 starts in that time.
The 30-year-old is a key man for the Cobblers when fit, and Wilder says the latest injury was an unavoidable one for a player he sees as one of the main leaders in his squad.
“You can’t have a team full of kids, you have to keep the experienced lads in,” said the Cobblers boss.
“It was an impact injury, a contact injury, and there’s not a lot you can do about that. But he is disappointed.”
As well as Diamond being out, another defender is also fighting to be fit for the weekend, with right-back Adam Yates struggling to shake of a thigh strain picked up in Tuesday’s 3-2 win over Colchester United.
“Adam came off at half-time on Tuesday, so we are assessing him but hopefully he will be okay,” said Wilder, who confirmed Josh Lelan will start at right-back if Yates doesn’t make it.
Attacker Ricky Holmes will miss the Sixfields date with the Daggers, but the news is more encouraging on his progress after he suffered a back spasm in the warm-up of the 2-0 defeat at Barnet back on August 18.
“Ricky is another one that has been slow going, and we are disappointed because Ricky is a big player for us,” said Wilder.
“Hopefully though we will get Ricky back, and may be even for the Oxford game.”
The early-season injuries picked up by Town are a massive cause of frustration for Wilder, with Diamond, Holmes and Yates joining long-term injury casualties Brendan Moloney and Evan Horwood in the treatment room.
“It is disappointing we have three or four players out at the moment, because they were all brought in to play a part for the club,” said the Cobblers boss, who admitted it is going be a while before Moloney and Horwood will be able to play.
“They are both a little way off, and obviously they haven’t done any pre-season either,” said Wilder.
“So they have to first get themselves back into full training, and then get themselves into a condition to start first team football.
“Even when they are back in full training, it will be two or three weeks before they play because they will have to do a mini pre-season.”