Cobblers hit by injury crisis ahead of big clash

Giles Coke and Paul Rodgers might have played their last games for Northampton Town.

The pair have been ruled out of the remainder of the season after picking up injuries.

And with Coke's contract up in the summer, and Rodgers' loan deal due to expire after the trip to Leeds United a week tomorrow, it means both men may have kicked their last ball for the club.

Manager Stuart Gray is facing something of an injury crisis ahead of tomorrow's crunch clash with Hereford United, where a win – combined with defeats for Carlisle and Crewe – will see Northampton safe.

As well as missing Coke and Rodgers, Gray also faces an anxious wait over the fitness of Jason Crowe and leading scorer Adebayo Akinfenwa.

"It's not looking good for Paul Rodgers, we've had it scanned and it looks like a cartilage problem," said Gray, who did have some good news with Liam Davis returning to training

yesterday.

"He'll be ruled out for the rest of the season and Giles (Coke) has had quite a heavy bleed in his calf so he'll also be out for the rest of the season.

"Bayo (Akinfenwa) has had an injection in his back to relieve the tension in his hamstring and he'll probably be left until the last minute.

"Jason Crowe has had a scan on a foot injury he got towards the back end of Tuesday's game and we're just waiting on the results of that.

"And Liam Davis has had a bit of good news, he's just got heavy bruising on his foot, there's no break. He'll be sore but if he gets through training then he'll be in the fold.

"We maybe need people now who are a bit walking wounded because there's not long left and they can have a nice long rest in the summer."

Gray has adopted a stoical approach to the lengthening injury list, and is confident he can put a team out capable of beating relegated Hereford – although he will settle for a lower-key contest than Tuesday night's against Scunthorpe.

"We've just got to get on with it," he said. "Those are the cards I've been dealt and I'll get 11 out there one way or another.

"We need to play with the same effort and passion that we did against Scunthorpe on Tuesday but we need to defend better.

"We're creating chances and scoring goals but I'd settle for just a 1-0 victory with hardly any excitement."

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