Date: 29th September 2011 at 10:45pm
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Wigan Athletic boss Roberto Martinez is hoping that experienced defender Emmerson Boyce will be back in action very shortly and he says that the signs are good with the Barbados international resuming training this week following a hamstring strain

Boyce limped out of the Manchester City game and then missed the next two league matches, away at Everton and the home game with Spurs, as well as the Carling Cup tie against his former club Crystal Palace. The Latics lost all four of those games and the importance to the team of Boyce cannot be stressed enough.

Turning 32 earlier this week the evergreen defender will be anxious to get back to action as soon as possible, but Martinez says although he’d like him in the side to face Villa on Saturday, especially with the current spate of injuries and suspensions to the clubs defenders, he won’t play Boyce unless he is 100% fit, speaking to the Wigan Evening Post Martinez said: “We`re hoping Boycey will be back as soon as possible, and the signs at the moment are very good”

“It’s important we get him back working with the group, and until this week he hasn’t been able to do that.

“But hopefully he’ll be able to join the rest of the group before Saturday and we’ll assess whether he’s ready or not.

“We won’t be taking any risks. though. It’s not just about getting him back for Saturday – it’s about making sure he’s 100 per cent when he does get back.”

“Boycey’s a player who brings that understanding, composure and stability that any team needs and that’s absolutely invaluable – especially with the young group we’ve got.

“Boycey is a senior figure here, and his presence, his experience and his attachment to the football club is much needed.”

Boycey eager to get back

By permission of Bernard Platt/Wigan Athletic

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