Blow for Steelbacks as skipper Cobb faces spell on the sidelines with hamstring strain
Northants Steelbacks have been dealt a severe blow with the news that Josh Cobb could be ruled out for up to three weeks of Vitality T20 Blast action with a hamstring strain.
The skipper pulled up going to a quick run during his innings of 62 in Sunday's 14-run defeat to the Notts Outlaws at the County Ground.
Cobb carried on batting with a runner and it was hoped that the strain would not be too serious, but head coach David Ripley has confirmed the 30-year-old will now be sidelined, although he does not know for how long.
The fact is though, with matches coming thick and fast it is highly likely Cobb will miss a sizeable chunk of the remainder of the North Group campaign.
The Steelbacks play eight games in the space of the next two weeks, before there is a break for Championship cricket, with the final three group games played in mid-July.
"Josh has a hamstring strain," confirmed Ripley following Tuesday night's 55-run defeat to Birmingham Bears, the Steelbacks' third loss in three games.
"He has had a scan and there is definitely something there that needs some time to heal, but we are not really going to put a time on it just yet because he has responded well in 24 hours.
"The worst case scenario might be three weeks, but we hope we might get him back a little bit earlier than that.
"It is unfortunate timing for us because he has been playing well and struck the ball well in both of the games he has played."
The news on Cobb will be softened somewhat by the availability of overseas signing Mohamad Nabi, who will be available for Thursday night's trip to with Derbyshire Falcons after completing his 10-day stint of quarantine in a London hotel.
And although Ripley accepts that losing Cobb is a tough one to take, he is backing the squad to cope in their leader's absence.
"It is a blow, but we have Nabi coming available for the next game, so we still have some selections issues and I think that is a good sign," said the head coach.
"We left Brandon (Glover) out after only two games and that was a tough call because I think he has got a lot to offer, but it does show we have a bit of depth.
"We have Nathan Buck banging on the door, somebody will have make way for Nabi, so I still feel that is a sign we have a good squad, but we are not quite pulling it together over a whole 40-over game.
"We are dipping in and out, and we need to be better for longer."
Adam Rossington will deputise as skipper while Cobb is injured.