Fit-again Cox hoping he can make an an impression with the Cobblers
It has been a long and frustrating road, but George Cox is delighted to be back out on a football pitch again.
It may well have only been a little five-minute cameo, but the Brighton loanee’s late substitute appearance towards the end of the Cobblers’ 1-1 draw with Mansfield Town on Saturday meant the world to him.
The 21-year-old has been out of action since mid-January, having damaged ankle ligaments in only his second appearance for the Cobblers after signing on loan from Premier League outfit Brighton & Hove Albion.
It has taken the left-back three months to regain full fitness and return to the Town ranks - and this coming after he had only just got back into action after being forced to undergo a serious heart operation last summer.
So those few minutes were pretty precious to Cox, who is now hoping he can make an impression at the Cobblers over the final few games of the campaign, starting with the Good Friday visit of struggling Macclesfield (ko 3pm).
“It is what it is all about isn’t it? That match day feeling,” said Cox when asked about his return to the Town squad last weekend. “It is great to be back involved, but hopefully from the start next time.
“When the injury happened I was being told that I might not be back in time for the end of the season, and might not be able to play again until next season.
“But knowing I can play a few games has given me a little bit of a lift, and it’s not too bad.
“It has been a pretty frustrating season for me, starting off the year injured and then now this. But there are four more games to go, and hopefully I can play in them and do the best that I can.”
Recalling suffering his ankle injury at Cambridge United on January 19, Cox said: “When I did it I didn’t think too much of it, I felt a shooting pain up the side of my leg, but you have so much adrenalin.
“I have also come on loan to prove I can play with the bigger lads, so I am not going to come off with a bad ankle!
“But at half-time when I sat down, I thought ‘I know this is my ligaments’, and basically I had near enough ruptured a couple of ligaments, including the main one up the middle.
“With that you just need to take time with it, you can’t rush things, otherwise in the long term it can affect it.
“So having the extra time off has helped the injury, but I have just got to get going now.
“The worst part about suffering the injury was that I didn’t even get through a whole game yet. It is so frustrating, but it is what it is.
“I have watched a few games and the lads have done well, played a few different styles of football as well, and I just want to get out there and help them now.”
If Cox is involved against Macclesfield on Friday, he will have an extra motivation to secure three points for the Cobblers.
The Silkmen are in the midst of a battle to avoid relegation from the Football League, along with Notts County and Yeovil Town, and Cox has a contact in one of those camps.
"One of mates is Ben Barclay and he is at Notts County (also on loan from Brighton), and he texted me the other day asking me to do them a favour," said the Town man.
"The lads have the right mindset going into the game, and we know Macclesfield are going to come here, needing a result.
"They are going to come straight us, so we need to be ready for that and then just play our game."
"The lads did well on Saturday, and we will want to take the momentum from that into Friday."