WIGAN boss Owen Coyle says he won’t be tempted to rush Thomas Rogne back from injury and risk exacerbating the defender’s problem.
Rogne was stretchered off midway through the first half of his Wigan debut against Dundee United in Wigan’s final pre-season hit-out with back spasms.
The Norwegian desperately tried to prove his fitness in time for last weekend’s season-opener against Barnsley, but failed a late fitness test.
As it happens, Coyle swooped for Leon Barnett 48 hours before the campaign, the new-boy putting in an accomplished debut including a clean sheet and a rare goal.
And Coyle insists he won’t consider Rogne for selection until he is fully over his back problem.
“Thomas showed a real desire to be ready for Barnsley, to be in that starting line-up,” Coyle revealed.
“He pushed himself last Thursday and Friday which caused him to have a reaction on the Friday.
“We gave him a painkilling jab to get through training, but it’s such a dangerous place to have a problem – in the lower back – we couldn’t take a chance.
“The one thing I will never do is try to push a player into playing one game, and risk him being out of action for five or six weeks.
“Thankfully we had Leon come in on Thursday who, although he hadn’t played any games in pre-season, wanted to play. What we are doing is trying to generate a real competition for places here, and Thomas is certainly a player who will be pushing for a start when he regains full fitness.”
Rogne has already battled a calf problem since his arrival at Wigan from Celtic last month, which has ruined his bid to stake a claim for a first-team spot.
With Gary Caldwell (hip) and Ivan Ramis (knee) out until October at the earliest, there were vacancies at the heart of the defence that appear to have been taken by Barnett and James Perch.
Rogne aside, Coyle reported no fresh injuries from the weekend win at Barnsley.
“It was a very high-tempo, high-intensity game so you’re always going to get bumps and bruises,” he added.
“But we had no fresh injuries, which is great, and we have an extra day to prepare for the Community Shield against Manchester United on Sunday.