Wigan Athletic had some bad news today when it was revealed that midfield man James McArthur could be set to miss the start of the season due to a back injury
The former Hamilton man was instrumental in the Latics turn-a-round of fortunes last season, he came into the side in February and started the last 15 games, of those games Martinez’s side only lost three and won eight, including famous victories against Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester United and Newcastle, the stats concerning McArthur are all the more impressive when you consider the previous 25 games of last season saw just three wins and a massive sixteen defeats
Latics boss Roberto Martinez must be highly disappointed in losing his midfield terrier for the start of the new campaign, McArthur is ferocious in closing down, he plays a very disciplined game and alongside his off the field friend James McCarthy he formed a great pairing in the heart of the Latics engine room
Although McArthur is training he isn’t up to speed with the rest of the squad, he is suffering back pain when resting and he’s definitely out of Sunday’s friendly with Celta Vigo, making it highly improbable that he’ll be fit for the Premier League opening game against Chelsea the following week
Speaking to Paul Kendrick of the Wigan Evening Post, Martinez said on MacArthur’s chances of making the Chelsea game – ‘It’s too early to tell at this stage, but it is an area of concern for us’
‘James is progressing well, but slowly. The back is something that’s been bothering him for a while, and when we came back from Austria he felt it a bit more. It’s one of those injuries that doesn’t stop you from training, but when you do work hard it has a delayed reaction – and those are always the most frustrating.
‘You probably feel you can get away with doing little bits of training, and knowing James he is the kind of person who wants to do as much as he can.
‘We need to make sure he continues to get the right recovery and the right treatment, and we’ll take it day by day.’
‘The good thing is James is a strong character and a very fit boy’
‘And when he is given the green light to train and play, it shouldn’t take him too long to regain full fitness.
‘His is probably behind the rest of the squad, but he has been doing some additional work and I don`t think it’ll take him too long to get back up to speed.’
McArthur will be sorely missed
By permission of Bernard Platt/Wigan Athletic
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