Diamond back in full training, but Hooper ruled out of Oxford United trip

CLOSE TO A RETURN - Zander Diamond is back in full training after recovering from the fractures cheekbone he suffered last month
CLOSE TO A RETURN - Zander Diamond is back in full training after recovering from the fractures cheekbone he suffered last month
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Boss Rob Page is waiting to find out if central defender Zander Diamond is going to be fit enough to the return to the Cobblers squad for the Boxing Day trip to Oxford United.

The Scotsman has been sidelined since fracturing a cheekbone in the 1-0 defeat to Peterborough United last month, but is now back in full training with Page set to assess if he is ready for match action.

The Oxford will come too soon for JJ Hooper to be involved though, as he is struggling to shake of the thigh injury he picked up in the 2-1 defeat at Gillingham, and a couple of other unnamed players have also been hit by illness but should be okay for Monday.

“Zander is progressing okay, but we still have to wait and see how he is for the Oxford game,” said Page.

“He is back in full-time training now, and there is a couple off with illness, but nothing that will concern us for the Boxing Day fixture.

“I think it will be a bit too soon for JJ again though.

“He came down for the game at the weekend and it was great to see him back, and he is desperately trying to get back fit to play.

“We will get him down (to Moulton) probably the middle of this week, and have a look at im and assess him.”

Brendan Moloney is the only other absentee with his knee injury.