Dean Austin says Junior Morias is training hard and ‘chomping at the bit’ to get out and play for the Cobblers – but has admitted the striker is likely to miss next Saturday’s Sky Bet League Two season opener against Lincoln City.
Signed for an undisclosed fee from Peterborough United two weeks ago, Morias has yet to feature for his new club, sitting out both Tuesday’s 3-0 pre-season friendly win over Barnet and Friday night’s 2-0 victory over a Manchester United XI.
Austin insists there is nothing to worry about with regards to Morias’s fitness, but he says there is no point in throwing him into action until he is 100 per cent ready, and the player is not quite there yet.
Morias suffered a ‘complicated injury’ at the back end of last season, and although he is in good shape and has been training fully with the Town first team, Austin and the club’s medical department have decided it is best to hold him back for just a little bit longer.
So the 23-year-old is set to miss the clash with Red Imps at the PTS Academy Stadium on August 4, but should be ready to feature in the trip to Carlisle United the following week.
Asked if Morias could be involved against Lincoln, Austin said: “I don’t think so. I think it is going to be really, really tight for him, just because of the stage he is at.
Junior is desperate to play, and he is on my case every single minute of every day. He is the most infectious character you will ever meet, and the fans here will love himCobblers boss Dean Austin
“On top of that, I have 19 or 20 outfield players at the minute, and I could pick them all, so I don’t need to rush Junior back.
“After next Saturday, we are going to be playing a squad game on the Tuesday and he will feature in that.”
Austin is certainly not shy of attacking options, with the likes of Andy Williams, Sam Hoskins, Billy Waters and Kevin van Veen all fit and available, and all boosted by getting off the scoring mark in pre-season.
But the Town boss is genuinely excited at the prospect of Morias doing his thing in a Cobblers shirt, and says he can’t wait to ‘let the lion out of the cage’.
“Junior is working his way to full fitness and is training,” said Austin. “He is looking good, but he had a complicated injury at the end of last season.
“He is there though, and he is chomping at the bit, and when I let the lion out of the cage I think everybody will know about it!
“Junior is desperate to play, and he is on my case every single minute of every day.
“He is the most infectious character you will ever meet, and the fans here will love him.”
Aside from Morias, the only other injury concern for Austin is Shay Facey, with the right-back struggling to shake of an ankle sprain he picked up in the pre-season win at Brackley Town on July 10.
Aside from Morias, midfielder Yaser Kasim is the only Town squad player not to have been involved in any of the pre-season games, and he won’t be featuring any time soon either.
The former Swindon Town man is contracted to the Cobblers until next summer, but Austin has confirmed the player is simply not in his first team plans.
Kasim hasn’t played for the club since the 1-0 FA Cup defeat at Scunthorpe United on November 14 last year.