Junior Morias is facing up to four weeks on the sidelines after the Cobblers striker was struck down by appendicitis in the hours leading up to the match at Crewe Alexandra two weeks ago.
The former Peterborough United man is resting up after undergoing an operation, and is not expected to be back training until at least the start of April.
It is another blow for Morias, who has endured a stop-start season due to injury and also suspension, but if all goes well he should be fit for the final three or four weeks of the campaign.
“Junior has had appendicitis,” explianed Cobblers boss Keith Curle.
“He had to leave the Crewe game, and there were rumours because people saw him leaving before kick-off that he had had a fallout, but that wasn’t the case.
“Under medical advice he had to go straight to A&E. We sought the advice of the Crewe club doctor, and he said to get him to an A&E immediately, so we did that.
“The following day he had the appendicitis operation.”
Morias can now do little else but sit back and wait until he gets better, and Curle added: “He will be out for three or four weeks, it is just a healing process.
“Junior is a quick healer and he will be chomping at the bit to get back in, but he is at home resting at the minute because there is nothing physically he can do.
“Then it will be a case of how quickly we can get him out on the grass when he is fully healed.”
The Cobblers travel to Grimsby Town on Saturday aiming to stretch their Sky Bet League Two winning streak to five games, and the squad is set to be boosted by the return of loan striker Marvin Sordell.
The Burton Albion front man suffered a bang to the head in the first half of last Saturday’s 2-1 win over Exeter, and although Curle expected him to be fit and available for Tuesday’s clash with Newport County, that turned out not to be the case.
“The FA guidelines says that when somebody takes a bang on the head and suffers a headache afterwards, then it is deemed as concussion,” said the Cobblers boss.
“When you take a bang on the head and still have a headache a day after, and you need to check with the doctor, then you are not allowed to play within 48 or 72 hours.
“You need to go that time witha clean bill of health, and Marvin has done that and is back in now.
“He trained Wednesday and Thursday with a big smile on his face, so he is available for selection for Saturday.”
That means that, aside from Morias and George Cox, Curle has a full-fit squad to pick from for the game at Grimsby.