Cobblers right-back Aaron Phillips’ hamstring injury is not as bad as first feared, and the former Coventry City man is set to miss only two matches.
Phillips is definitely out of this weekend’s trip to Bristol Rovers, but there is a chance he could be back in contention for a starting place when Scunthorpe United visit Sixfields on January 14.
With Brendan Moloney already ruled out until February, initially it was feared Phillips, who suffered the injury in the first half of Monday’s 2-1 defeat to Bradford City, could be out for as long as a month, but now he is set to miss only two matches maximum.
The news has left manager Rob Page with a bit of a dilemma now as to whether he tries to sign another full-back in time for this weekend’s game at the Memorial Stadium, or to get through that fixture with what he has.
“It is a grade one tear, and he did it after 35 minutes on Monday, so the for the last 10 minutes of the first half he was carrying it” said Page when asked about Phillips’ hamstring injury.
“We will miss him for a maximum of two games, so it is not the worst injury in the world, it has just come at a bad time for us.”
It is believed Page is still keen to get a right-back in for this weekend, but it means that whoever comes in has to have the versatility to play in other positions, as the club can’t afford to carry three specialist right-backs on its books.
“It is a difficult one because we have two right-backs in the building,” said the Cobblers boss.
“Aaron is not going to be out for three months, he is potentially going to be 10 days or two weeks out, so it is something we will look at.
“We have a game on Saturday, and then the week after Aaron might be fit and able to play, so we will have to look at it, and if there is an option out there for us then we will consider it.”
There are no other fresh injury concerns ahead of the trip Rovers, although the Cobblers will also be without central defender Gaby Zakuani who has joined up with the DR Congo team ahead of the Africa Cup Of Nations.
Crystal Palace loan signing Hiram Boateng, who spent the first half of the season as a Bristol Rovers player, is available for selection for Town and is set to make his debut.