Wigan Athletic face an anxious wait to discover if Nick Powell’s early substitution on Saturday saved him from another serious injury.
The ex-Manchester United opened the scoring against Bristol Rovers on the half-hour mark with a magnificent free-kick from just outside the penalty area.
But that was his last involvement before limping off, seemingly in some discomfort, shortly after.
Powell, who missed most of last term through various injury problems, has now failed to last the course in all seven league games so far this term.
And assistant boss Leam Richardson admits it’s a constant case of managing the player to keep him on the field for as long as possible.
“Nick had been coming off in the previous games because he’s been building up strength from the summer,” revealed Richardson.
“He’s been getting minutes in, he’s been doing that well, but it’s about managing him as best we can.
“This time he just felt a little bit of stiffness, a little bit of tightness, and we took him off as a precaution.
“Hopefully he’ll be okay for Northampton on Tuesday night.”
Powell was at the centre of the pivotal moment in Wigan’s 3-0 victory at the DW, exacting the perfect revenge for the last-man foul on Michael Jacobs that saw Rovers defender Ryan Sweeney red-carded.
“You don’t like to see any player sent from the field, although it was probably the right decision,” assessed Richardson.
“Thankfully it went in our favour for once, and Powelly’s hit the top corner - and we all know he has the quality to do that.”
Richardson was once again sent to face the media by boss Paul Cook, who likes to delegate such duties among his backroom staff.
“I just get pointed at by the gaffer!” laughed Richardson.
“It’s something we’ve always done to be fair, and it shows we are a management team.
“We’re all singing off the same hymn sheet to the players, and long may that continue.”