MALACHI Napa has his fingers crossed for a scan on Monday which is likely to determine whether he will play again this season.

The winger has been sidelined for almost five months after breaking his right leg in August against Peterborough United.

Given the severity of the injury, United have always been careful not to give a rough return date.

That remains the case, but an appointment next week should give some clarity over whether the 20-year-old can be back before the end of the campaign.

He said: “Hopefully, if my scan on January 6 is good then maybe there is time to see me.

“There’s no temptation to rush it.

“The main thing I’ve heard is if you break the leg again it could be twice as long.”

While Napa’s contract, which runs until 2021, takes away much of the time pressure, there is a natural disappointment at watching United’s fine campaign from the sidelines.

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But that does not mean he does not have a role to play.

Napa said: “It’s frustrating, I haven’t put a pair of boots on for four months, so it’s crazy.

“That’s what you love to do but it can be taken away so easily and you can’t do anything about it.

“When we’re winning I’m buzzing, but you want to be involved.

“I’m enjoying seeing the team do well, I come down after the game and we speak, but you feel like you haven’t done anything to put into it.

“Then again, they do say the way you speak to the people before the game has a role to play.

“So you have to take that in. Your job is to keep the boys’ heads up.”

As the longest-term injury, Napa’s most useful work as United’s unofficial position as motivator-in-chief comes when there are new visitors to the United treatment room.

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And he has not been short on company during the last few months.

“I’ve been there for a while, so I understand their frustration for the first few weeks,” he said.

“I try to keep them going so they come back stronger and not rush anything.

“You have to keep their heads up because as a team you’re like a family because you see each other every day.

“It’s not easy and you get frustrated that you’re not playing.

“I try to motivate as much as possible and try to get them out so they don’t come back.”