The former Middlesbrough defender missed Saturday's 1-1 draw at Bury with a groin strain and will not be risked at the Madejski Stadium.
Goalkeeper Chris Dunn (ankle), defender Craig Hinton (knee) and winger Liam Davis (ankle) all remain sidelined as the Cobblers look to continue a three-match unbeaten run.
Midfielder Kevin Thornton and striker Tadhg Purcell are hoping to start as manager Ian Sampson makes several changes to his side.
Assistant Malcolm Crosby said: "We'll make changes but I don't think there will be too many as we don't want to unsettle the team too much.
"Kevin Thornton will be brought into the equation, I would think. He's a talented player and he's got to use the ball a bit better than he has been doing. He sees passes and sometimes he doesn't deliver the ball - I think he's got to start delivering because he is most definitely a talent. He'll be playing some part in the game at Reading, without a doubt."