HE may have come up empty on transfer deadline day but better than expected injury news regarding veteran striker Marc Richards has left Swindon Town boss Phil Brown feeling like he has secured a new signing.

The original prognosis on Richards, who injured his shoulder during the pre-season clash at Melksham Town last month, was that the 37-year-old would miss the opening two months of the season.

However, Brown revealed that the former Northampton Town man was poised to return to full contact training this morning, potentially boosting the striking ranks much sooner than anticipated.

“One massive positive was I got a call from the physio, who was with Marc Richards in London and the specialist says he’s well ahead of schedule,’’ Brown told a BBC Wiltshire phone-in.

“Marc, fingers crossed, will be on the training ground tomorrow (Friday), not pushing for a place for Saturday because that would be a bit early, but he will go into full contact.

“When it first got diagnosed it was 12 weeks, then with an operation six weeks and now we’re not even two weeks into the season and Marc Richards is on the training ground.

“That was almost like a new signing to me because Marc Richards is a very good striker at this level.’’

One man already impressing Brown up front is loan signing Elijah Adebayo, the manager revealing Town had already made enquiries about making the 20-year-old Fulham starlet’s loan move permanent.

“I’ve really been impressed with Elijah Adebayo,’’ added Brown.

“My former chief scout Bob Shaw, who I worked with for 20 years, didn’t take up an offer to work here, the one thing he said was that Elijah – in his second loan – will prove to be a real handful.

“On Saturday (against Macclesfield), that proved to be the case. I thought looking at him, he was running on empty, but that player got us the equalising penalty.

“We tried to extend Elijah’s contract to permanent one. That was down to the chairman wanting to invest in a striker.

Brown also shed light on the decision to sell last season’s top scorer Luke Norris to Colchester during the summer, citing the former Gillingham man’s injury record and size of the U’s offer as key factors.

“It was a decision made on stats and what I thought I needed for a frontman,’’ he said.

“He had a history of a bust shoulder and when somebody throws a six-figure sum at you that gets my attention, let alone that of the chairman.

“There’s a possibility on the first impact – and I’m not wishing this on anybody – that Luke Norris might go down with the same shoulder problem.

“I think that’s a bit of a risk and it’s a risk worth taking selling the player. Cane you get somebody in who won’t have that risk and maybe get 14 or 15 goals a season. I think we’ve answered that with Elijah.’’