WIGAN defender Ivan Ramis has been ruled out for the rest of the season.
The 28-year-old ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during what looked like an innocuous challenge with Dimitar Berbatov at Fulham on Saturday.
Boss Roberto Martinez did add that the news was better than it could have been though, with it now expected Ramis will return for the start of the 2013-14 campaign.
Martinez said: “Nothing can disguise the fact this is a massive blow because Ivan is a key member of the group but we are relieved that the injury is not as severe as we feared it could have been.
“The most important thing now is to think of Ivan’s welfare, get the operation completed, and for him to begin his rehabilitation.
“Ivan is a very strong and positive character and he is determined to return to fitness as soon as he can.
“He will receive the best possible medical rehabilitation as the club ensures to have him return as an even stronger footballer.”