Timely return for Alcaraz
Wigan suffered yet another injury blow this week when central defender Ivan Ramis sustained cruciate ligament damage during the draw at Craven Cottage. The club has endured a series of serious injuries to defenders during 2012/13, and now the Spaniard will be out for the rest of the season too.
January 16th, 2013
However, the return of long-term absentee Antolin Alcaraz could be just the boost Wigan needs to rise up the league table. The Paraguayan centre-back was injured on international duty back in September, and has not played a game since he sustained a serious groin injury.
During his absence, Latics have been vulnerable in the air, particularly at set pieces, and the 6ft 2in defender’s return could now be crucial in this area. Alcaraz was an important figure in Wigan’s resurgence in the second half of last season and his return to the first team could be the catalyst for similar progress this time around.
The experienced international has played sixty times for the Latics and scored three goals, the most important of which was the winner against Blackburn last season which secured the club’s Premier League status.
Wigan boss Roberto Martinez has revealed the 30-year-old is on the verge of a welcome return.
“We need to make sure we don’t push him now, having been so patient for so long, but he’s already played 20 minutes behind closed doors and he came through that fine,” Martinez said.
“From a medical point of view, he is nearly there, and will probably come back into the equation over the next couple of games. He’s back training with the group and he’s slowly adapting to the workload. It’s more a case of adaptation to work now rather than injury healing.”
The big defender has been out for so long that it will seem like a new signing for the club when he finally makes his return.
Let’s Hang On