Cobblers boss Chris Wilder says it is yet to be decided is skipper Marc Richards will undergo an operation on his injured Achilles.
Richards has been ruled out for around four weeks after suffering the strain, which affects the other Achilles to the one operated on in the second half of last season and saw the player miss eight weeks of action.
Town’s 18-goal top scorer will take specialist advice on the best way forward, with Wilder making it clear that no risks will be taken with the 33-year-old.
Asked if Richards will have to undergo an operation, the Cobblers boss said: “We will have to wait and see, and we will take advice on that.
“Whatever way we go about it, we will try and get Marc back as soon as possible, but without risking him because his career is the biggest thing and we can’t take chances on that.
“I know what Marc is about, I know what he was like last year and he was in the gym morning, noon and night, and he was always in the physio room.
“We managed to get him back on the pitch towards the end of the season and he did really well to do that, because when it happened it was an injury that should have put him out for the season.
“That is the guy he is, and he wants to be involved, but we have to make sure that we take and make sensible decisions.”
The treatment room has been a pretty quite place for the majority of this season, and Wilder accepts that such disappointments as the one sufferd by Richards are part and parcel of football.
“These things happen,” said the Town manager. “The physio and sports science guys have done ever so well so far this season.
“The injuries we have picked up, the long-term one with Paul Corry we couldn’t really do anything about that and it is disappointing, and we have picked up one now with Marc
“We have to just get on with, as everybody else has to, and we have to move on.”
Wilder also believes his captain will still be an inspiration around Sixfields, even if he can’t actually get out to do his talking on the pitch.
“Rico will be in and around the squad, and no doubt his influence will still be there in terms of him being around the place from Monday to Friday,” said Wilder.
“Going into the games on a Saturday he will be around as well, and he’ll be driving us on from a different position.”
Richards has been struggling with his Achilles in recent weeks, but the situation was being managed until it was decided he had to be rested following last Tuesday’s 1-0 win over Oxford United.