Ripley faces injury issues ahead of final home game in charge of Northants
David Ripley is facing a few injury headaches ahead of his final home game in charge of Northants.
The County take on Durham in the LV= Insurance County Championship on Sunday (start 10.30am), and it will be Ripley's last time in charge of the team at Wantage Road.
The 54-year-old announced last week that he is stepping down from the head coach role he has held for close to 10 years, and he is hoping to finish on a high over the next four days.
But he is going to have to go into the match without several key bowlers, with Nathan Buck, Gareth Berg and Brandon Glover all definitely ruled out, and left-arm spinner Simon Kerrigan a serious doubt.
Berg did play as a batsman in the second team's clash with Somerset IIs last week, but didn't bowl.
On the plus side, Jack White is set to return after missing the Surrey encounter with a heel problem, while teenager James Sales is in line to make his second first-class appearance for the club.
"We are bit thin on the ground in terms of players at the moment, with none of the bowlers we hoped would be fit to help us are going to be," said Ripley.
"None of Nathan Buck, Gareth Berg or Brandon Glover are going to make this game, so we are bit strapped for numbers.
"Simon Kerrigan has an issue and is doubtful with an abdominal strain that he suffered earlier in the season.
"He felt it go a little bit in the game against Surrey and he now looks a long shot to play against Durham unfortunately, which is a blow as was showing his class.
"But hopefully he will be okay for the last game of the season at Essex."
It means that workhorses Ben Sanderson and Tom Taylor are going to have to keep running in against Durham, but it is hoped White will return.
"It is tough to ask Ben and Tom to keep going but it looks like we might have to," admitted the head coach.
"We are hoping that Jack White might be available. He has had a minor injection into his heel that he has been struggling with to try and help with that.
"He is training on Saturday and we hope he will come in and give us a fresh pair of legs for this match."
Ripley also confirmed that 18-year-old Sales is set to keep his place after making his debut in the two-wicket win over Surrey last week.
The youngster was withdrawn from the England Under-19 squad to play in that match, and the plan had been to allow him to go back for the remainder of the series against the West Indies.
But the County's injury issues have scuppered that.
"James looks a really exciting prospect," said Ripley.
"Originally we had the option of him returning to England Under-19s, and I had sorted it out with (England coach) Richard Dawson that he could come and play against Surrey and then go back if we could get some players returning.
"But they haven't returned, and James is quite happy to stay with us and get another game under his belt, so that is what is going to happen."