Curle to make 'decision' on McCormack as striker Smith steps up his recovery

Alan McCormack could make his long-awaited return to the pitch this week providing he feels no ill-effects from training.

Monday, 10th February 2020, 1:50 pm
Updated Monday, 10th February 2020, 2:02 pm
Harry Smith was carried off on a stretcher at Crawley

It's been a gradual and at times frustrating few weeks for the 36-year-old who last played for the Cobblers against Crawley Town on Boxing Day.

But he was back in full training last week and could finally be ready to make his return against Swindon on Tuesday or, more likely, Walsall at the weekend, though Arsenal loanee James Olayinka remains sidelined.

"Alan McCormack is back on the grass training with the group and that'll be a decision for me to make when I think he's fully up to speed," said Keith Curle.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

"James Olayinka was at the game on Saturday. He's responding to treatment he's getting at Arsenal and also from us here but I think it'll still be another week, maybe 10 days, until we get him back on the grass."

There's also positive news on Harry Smith. It was feared the striker had suffered a season-ending ankle injury when carried off at Crawley but he could be back in action as early as next month.

"Harry Smith has gone up to St George's Park with Sean Whaler," Curle added. "We're hoping to get him on the anti-gravity machine which will see him back running and back into his movement.

"Potentially it might be three weeks when he's able to join in with us again and Shaun McWilliams is also on track but that might be slightly longer term."