TOWN wingman John Thorrington is facing surgery.
The 24-year-old American needs an exploratory operation to determine the nature and extent of his ankle injury.
Manager Peter Jackson fears Thorrington could be out for several weeks at a time when Town are bidding to haul themselves up the Third Division table and make progress in the Carling Cup.
"It is not good news, although the sooner John gets it sorted, the better," said Jackson, whose Reserves were in action at Stoke today (2.00).
"He has had the problem since we played at Emley in pre-season and, even though he has been able to play games, it has never really settled down.
"Since he took a couple of knocks during the Doncaster game, it has gradually got worse and the specialist now thinks it best to have a closer look.
"It's a real shame, because John is obviously one of the players who suits our 4-4-2 formation and whose form generally has been good, particularly against Derby in the Cup when he was outstanding."
AS Danny Schofield starts a three-match suspension against Northampton at the McAlpine on Saturday, Jackson was relieved that Lee Fowler came through last night's Wales Under 21 0-0 draw against Finland without any problems.
Andy Booth should be fit to play up front this weekend as Jackson intends to stick with a 4-4-2 formation against Martin Smith and Co.
"Northampton have invested heavily and will be a tough test, but the onus is on us, with the backing of our home fans, to bounce back from the Bury loss," he said.
Northampton also have the Town summer trialist Ashley Westwood in the line-up.
Town fans should note they can pay at the turnstiles for next Tuesday's trip to Rochdale (7.45). Covered seating in the Perfit Willbutts Lane Stand is £14 for adults and £8 for Under 16s and seniors.
Swansea is now all-ticket. The allocation was due to arrive at the McAlpine today priced £11 (adults) and £6 (concessions). All standing.