Ravel Morrison remains ‘a considerable way’ away from being able to help Wigan Athletic in the fight against relegation.
The ex-Manchester United junior, who has spent the last couple of years in Italy at Lazio, is training with Latics with a view to winning a short-term deal.
However, having not made a single appearance this term, manager Warren Joyce says it’s not as simple as throwing him straight into the first team.
“He’s worked hard and his attitude has been good,” revealed the Latics chief.
“But he’s been inactive really for a very long time, which obviously we knew.
“It’s just assessing now how long or how short the period of time will be to get him anywhere near what he used to be like. That’s an ongoing situation.
“He’s desperate to play football, and he loves football.
“But so am I. The body has also got to be capable of doing the things, day in and day out.
“When you become inactive or - and I’m not just talking about Ravel now - when you become ‘soft’ or you become comfortable in your life, and you don’t want to push yourself to do things that we have to do in this situation, that’s the big thing you have to assess with any player.”
Morrison has hardly kicked a ball in anger since swapping life in England for Italy, and Joyce - who worked with the player at Old Trafford - acknowledged last week it would be ‘a long shot’ to expect him to make an immediate impact.
“He’s a way away from the last time I worked with him, which was obviously a long time ago,” Joyce added.
“He’s a considerable way away from where he was.
“I can’t fault his attitude...but if you’re not training and playing hard, you’re not battle-hardened, you’re not flat out, seven days a week.
“It’s not a quick fix. It’s not like flicking a switch on and light suddenly being there.
“There’s a build-up, you throw them into situations, and the body can only do so much.
“You can only press the accelerator so much before the body breaks down.
“That’s why it’s called ‘pre-season’ - there’s a build up to the work you’re going to do.
“Really, he’s almost like that in that stage of his work.”