JAMES McCarthy is plotting a sensational return to action at Arsenal on Saturday week.
The Republic of Ireland international has been out for almost three months with ankle ligament damage sustained against Bolton on October 23.
But he is ready to hand boss Roberto Martinez a timely boost.
McCarthy was originally ruled out until February at the earliest after requiring surgery, but his recovery is ahead of schedule and he is tantalisingly close to a return.
He told the Evening Post: “I’m hoping to be back for the Arsenal game later this month.
“It’s not 100 per cent sure, but that’s definitely the target I’ve set for myself.
“Everything’s been going according to plan, and the surgeon told me the other week he was happy for me to do whatever I felt comfortable doing.
“I’ve started kicking the ball and hopefully this week I’ll get more involved in the rest of the training.
“Evo (Richard Evans, Head of Sports Medicine) is happy with that, and now it’s all about getting back to full fitness as quickly as possible and rejoining the rest of the boys.
FULL STORY AND MORE LATICS NEWS IN THE WIGAN EVENING POST (WEDNESDAY) ...