WIGAN Athletic may have to soldier on without Grant Holt until October after scan results revealed the full extent of his knee injury.
Holt pulled up lame during the 2-2 draw with Middlesbrough last month, after putting Latics in front with a first-half penalty.
He missed the 2-1 victory over Nottingham Forest on August 31, and was sent for a scan after the initial swelling had eased.
While the verdict could have been far worse – ligament damage was feared at one stage – boss Owen Coyle admits it is a blow for both player and club.
“Grant’s been struggling for the last couple of weeks,” Coyle told the Evening Post.
“There’s no serious damage to the knee in terms of ligaments, which was obviously great news.
“But what he did do was jar the joint, with two bones rubbing together, which has led to a lot of bruising. That takes time to settle down.
“Grant would play tomorrow if he could, such is his desire to make a difference.
“What we have to do is make sure we don’t aggravate the problem and make it worse.
“We’re looking at a minimum of three weeks – whether it’s longer, we’ll see how the knee settles down. But he definitely won’t be available for Leicester and probably the week after. After that, we’ll see.”
Coyle revealed Ivan Ramis and Gary Caldwell are also making ‘good progress’ from their long-term injury problems.
Caldwell underwent surgery at the end of last season to correct a long-standing hip problem that dogged him for most of last season.
Ramis, meanwhile, has been out since damaging knee ligaments in the 1-1 draw at Fulham back in January.
“The two lads are progressing nicely, but that’s all it is at this stage,” the Wigan boss added.
“Ivan has been out doing light training on the grass, but that’s all it’s been. We’ve always been looking at the end of October with both lads, and we won’t be rushing either back because we don’t want to push either of them.”