BEN Watson has the mental strength to overcome his latest injury heartache, insists team-mate Chris McCann.
Scans yesterday confirmed what everyone had feared on Tuesday night – that Watson has badly broken his right leg for the second time 15 months.
This time, the 28-year-old has suffered a double fracture to the fibula and tibia bone, ruling him out for the season.
Watson will undergo surgery as soon as possible to repair the damage, before embarking on another gruelling programme of rehabilitation.
And McCann, who was the first man on the scene on Tuesday night and immediately raised his hands to his head in despair, says his pal will receive all the support he needs from his Latics colleagues.
“It’s never nice to see an incident like that on the pitch, especially when it’s one of your own team-mates,” McCann told the Evening Post.
“He’ll be a devastating loss for us, Ben’s such a massive miss. He is a big player for us both on and off the pitch, he’s been playing so well in recent weeks.
“Hopefully he can come back soon, bigger and better than before.
“He’s got a good support network around him, with his family, his team-mates and the medical staff at the club.
“No matter what the lay-off is, he is in very good hands and hopefully it’s a speedy recovery.”
Watson sustained the damage in a bone-crunching collision with Barnsley’s Martin Woods in the early stages of Wigan’s 2-0 victory.
It’s the same leg Watson broke during the Premier League game at Liverpool in November 2012, although not in the same area.
Watson, of course, made a hugely-successful return to the fold before the end of last term, scoring the winning goal in the FA Cup final.
And boss Uwe Rosler hopes he can bounce back from his latest setback.
“Ben will receive the best possible treatment and we will do everything to help him make a speedy recovery,” said Rosler.
“To lose a player and a person of Ben’s quality is a big blow to us, but we will re-group and move on as a squad and keep trying to achieve our goals for the season, with the added incentive now of doing it for Ben.”
Wigan’s home game against Championship pace-setters Leicester has been rearranged for Tuesday, April 1 (7.45pm).
No date has yet been confirmed for the FA Cup quarter-final at Manchester City.