McWilliams expected to be fit for Stevenage trip after suffering 'no reaction' following chest pains

Keith Curle says Cobblers midfielder Shaun McWilliams has suffered no reaction to the chest pains that saw him substituted during Saturday's 2-0 win over Newport County.

Monday, 16th September 2019, 2:25 pm
Shaun McWilliams is helped off the pitch by the Cobblers' medical staff on Saturday

The 21-year-old was withdrawn eight minutes into the second half after suffering 'palpitations' and breathing difficulties, but the Town boss has said the player has suffered no after-effects, and that he should be declared fit for Tuesday night's Sky Bet League Two trip to Stevenage.

McWilliams will again be assessed by the doctor after training at the PTS Academy Stadium this afternoon, but Curle is hopeful the player will be made available for the trip to Broadhall Way.

"Shaun has had no reaction," said the Cobblers boss. "He was checked by the doctor at half-time, and checked by the doctor during the second half when he came off.

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"He has been in and seen the doctor again today, and he has had no reaction, so whether it was a slight virus, or a chest infection or acid reflux or something that has interrupted his breathing.

"But he has had a clean bill of health so far."

Asked if the player will be available to take on Stevenage, Curle added: "He will see the doctor again and then he will train, and we will have to get him up to match tempo to make sure we are able to replicate the hard graft.

"There is no point in him going out there and just having a jog around, we need to get him up to speed and see if anything is replicated at the top end of that."

McWilliams being fit to play would be a boost for Curle, who is still waiting on the return to fitness of Alan McCormack, who hasn't played since injuring a hamstring on the opening day of the season.

The Irishman, along with full-back Reece Hall-Johnson, have both been back in training for a while now, but Curle was being non-committal on a return date for the pair, who he says will have to prove their fitness in training before being considered.

"They are back out doing field-based training," said the Town manager, when asked about the injured pair.

"People will probably get fed up of me saying it, but there is a protocol we go through with the medical staff and the strength and conditioning coaches, and they have to be able to go through that.

"Otherwise you end up with players coming back in who are not up to speed, not up to tempo, and they then can't join in training because I am not going to lower the standard or tempo of training.

"The players know that, so when they come back and they are fit and they are available, then they are fit and available."