Wigan's Ben Watson has received a major boost with the news that he may be able to return earlier than expected from the fractured shin he sustained against Liverpool.
Watson had to be helped from the pitch when he was injured in a collision with Liverpool's Raheem Sterling and it was initially feared that he would be forced to miss the rest of the season.
Fortunately the damage is not as bad as first suggested and, while he still faces a lengthy recovery, it will not be as long as feared.
"It's not as bad as it could have been, that's for certain. It's still a very serious injury and we need to ensure that Ben is given all the time that he needs to make a full recovery," Wigan manager Roberto Martinez confirmed.
"The good news is that he won't be out for as long as we initially thought and with the character that Ben has, he will be able to deal with such an injury.
"Ben has just started put his stamp on the team and he will be missed in the group because of the type of lad he is."