Cobblers striker Nicholls pays tribute to Akinfenwa

Alex Nicholls
Alex Nicholls

Alex Nicholls has received total support from everyone within the Cobblers camp but admits he has been especially influenced by the advice of Adebayo Akinfenwa, who also suffered a broken leg earlier in his career.

Nicholls faces as long as eight months on the sideline after fracturing his left leg in two places against Port Vale five weeks ago.

The striker has had an metal rod inserted in his leg at the knee to correct the injury but was not put in a plaster cast as this would have caused the muscles to waste away and increased recovery time.

As a result, he has been able to walk short journeys without the use of crutches and - after being insured by Clive Platt to drive his automatic car - can get to Sixfields to work with the club’s physios.

Once his skin graft is healed, Nicholls will be able to work out in the pool and increase the intensity of the physical work he is doing.

But he accepts it will be a long road to recovery and full fitness, and he has drawn on the experience and knowledge of Akinfenwa, who had the same injury when he was at Swansea City five years ago.

“He came to see me a couple of times when I was in hospital and we chatted about the injury he had,” said Nicholls.

“It wasn’t a compound break but he did have some problems with the healing of it.

“They had to open his leg up and skin graft him as well because there was an issue with the healing of the bone.

“So he’s been through it all before and he said ‘you’ll be back before you know it’ and he was really positive.

“The more you can surround yourself with people like that the better things will be for you. Everybody has been fantastic.”

The Cobblers were without a game on Saturday as it was FA Cup weekend, but they return to action on Wednesday night when they entertain Leyton Orient in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy at Sixfields (ko 7.45pm).