Striker Steve Guinan is in contention for a return as Northampton look to strengthen their play-off chances at home to Morecambe.

Guinan has been out since the start of December after hernia surgery but scored a hat-trick for the reserves in midweek and will be on the bench at Sixfields.

Manager Ian Sampson said: "He's not ready to start a game for the first team yet because he's only been back in training for a week after being out for around three months. But if he keeps scoring goals he will certainly come into contention for a starting place."

Midfielder Ryan Gilligan is available after missing the 2-0 win over Darlington last weekend with a knee injury while winger Andy Holt has returned to training after a knee problem of his own and may feature next week.

Kevin Thornton (knee), John Curtis (calf) and goalkeeper Chris Dunn (knee) remain sidelined as Sampson's side look to record a fifth straight win.

Morecambe boss Sammy McIlroy is not expected to make any changes.

The Shrimps ground out a 1-0 win at lowly Hereford in midweek and McIlroy could name an unchanged starting line-up.

A goal from skipper Jim Bentley earned the Shrimps a fourth away win of the campaign at Edgar Street.

Striker Aaron Taylor, defender Henry McStay and midfielder Ian Craney remain long-term absentees but McIlroy has no other major concerns.

McIlroy and assistant Mark Lillis recently signed new extended contracts keeping them at the club until the end of the 2010/11 season.

The duo have proved a resounding success at Christie Park, guiding the Shrimps into the Football League in 2007 and helping to establish the club in League Two.

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Topics:
Aaron Taylor
Football
Jim Bentley
Steve Guinan
John Curtis
Ryan Gilligan
Hereford United
Henry McStay
League Two
Morecambe
Ian Craney
Sammy McIlroy
Chris Dunn
Kevin Thornton