ROBERTO Martinez is keeping his fingers crossed the ankle problem that forced Momo Diame out of Saturday’s clash against Fulham is only a sprain and not ligament damage.
The in-form midfielder lasted barely 10 minutes of the disappointing 2-0 home defeat to the Cottagers, a result that leaves Latics rooted to the foot of the Premier League table.
Diame limped off after two bone-crunching challenges in the space of two minutes from Zdenek Grygera and Steve Sidwell, the former receiving a caution but the latter getting off scot-free.
And the Wigan boss admits the Senegal international would leave a huge hole in the engine room with Latics bidding to arrest a worrying losing sequence that now stands at eight matches.
“We’re hoping it’s just a twisted ankle, after a really bad tackle,” Martinez told the Evening Post.
“It’s hard to tell at the moment, though, we’ll have to see how it develops.
“He’ll have a scan to discover the real damage and if it’s a ligament tear as well.
“If it is, it’s going to be a really long period.”
Martinez also hit out at referee Mike Jones for failing to protect Diame from Fulham’s over-zealous early tackling.
“The injury to Momo was really disappointing,”the Wigan boss added.
“He had two horrific challenges in the space of about 30 seconds, really early in the game, and it was just something where I don’t think the referee gave any sort of protection.
“He was very fortunate with the first one, not so lucky the second time.”
Any sort of lay-off would be a massive blow for both the player and the club, who have cup finals against Wolves, Blackburn and Sunderland coming up in November before a nightmare December schedule.
One man definitely missing Sunday’s trip to Wolves is skipper Gary Caldwell, who picked up his fifth booking of the season on Saturday and will serve a one-match suspension.
Steve Gohouri, who hasn’t been sighted since his role in Bolton’s 3-1 derby victory earlier this month, could deputise as could Adrian Lopez.
Martinez could also switch the dependable Emmerson Boyce to the heart of the defence, which would open the door for a recall at right-back for Ronnie Stam.