Wilder admits Holmes may be forced to undergo back operation

STRUGGLING - Ricky Holmes is still sidelined with a back problem

STRUGGLING - Ricky Holmes is still sidelined with a back problem

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Chris Wilder has admitted that Northampton winger Ricky Holmes may be forced to undergo surgery on his troublesome back injury.

The Cobblers boss says the player going under the knife would be the worst-case scenario, but the Town boss admits that he is ‘concerned’ at the former Portsmouth man’s lack of progress.

Ricky Holmes in action for the Cobblers in the Capital One Cup win over Blackpool on August 12

Ricky Holmes in action for the Cobblers in the Capital One Cup win over Blackpool on August 12

Holmes suffered a back spasm in the warm up ahead of the match at Barnet on August 18, and has yet to return to training.

The player is at least walking freely again which wasn’t the case in the weeks after he suffered the injury, but is still not even jogging.

He is working at Sixfields with the physio, and has been receiving injections, but there is as yet no light at the end of the tunnel.

“It is a back problem that is a really slow-burner,” said Wilder.

Basically, we are just seeing if the treatment he is having improves him enough to start working on the movement he needs, and then jogging and kicking on. If it doesn’t, then we are going to have to look at alternative things.

Cobblers boss Chris Wilder on Ricky Holmes

“He has had injections and we are just hoping it is settling down, but I have to say it is a concern.

“Whether it turns into him having an operation we don’t know, but we are trying everything to get him back because he is a massive player for us.

“He is in with the physio, he has had his injections, but he’s not doing any running, and he’s not on the training ground or anything.

“Basically, we are just seeing if the treatment he is having improves him enough to start working on the movement he needs, and then jogging and kicking on.

Chris Wilder (left) can't wait to be able to call on the services of Ricky Holmes (picture: Sharon Lucey)

Chris Wilder (left) can't wait to be able to call on the services of Ricky Holmes (picture: Sharon Lucey)

“If it doesn’t, then we are going to have to look at alternative things.

“The one thing you don’t want to go down the road of when you have a back injury is an operation, so we are trying desperately to stay clear of that.

“But if it has to be done for the long term future of Ricky, then we will have to consider that.”

Other injury news from Sixfields is more encouraging, with Shaun Brisley expected to shake off the ankle knock he picked up at AFC Wimbledon on Tuesday.

The central defender is set to feature at leaders Wycombe Wanderers on Saturday, as is winger Alfie Potter who missed the trip to Kingsmeadow after suffering a dead leg.

Evan Horwood, who has been on the bench for the past two games, is back in training, as is fellow full-back Brendan Moloney.

Missing on Saturday will be Holmes, Rod McDonald and Paul Corry, who has been ruled out for the season with a knee injury.

Jason Taylor also misses the trip to Adams Park as he sits out the final match of his four-game suspension for his sending off against Oxford United.