ROBERTO Martinez may be forced into further January spending if his worst fears concerning Ivan Ramis are realised.
Ramis was stretchered off near the end of Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Fulham after an innocuous-looking challenge with Dimitar Berbatov.
The Spanish centre-back has suspected cruciate ligament damage, which would mean a lay-off of several months.
And although Antolin Alcaraz is due back from his own long-term injury this week, Martinez would require further reinforcements for the second half of the campaign.
Ramis has only just returned to the fold after being sidelined with hamstring trouble, and Martinez is keeping everything crossed that the initial prognosis is wrong.
“Until we get the results of the scan we can’t be too sure, but it looks long-term,” revealed Martinez.
“It’s difficult news to take because he doesn’t deserve it after the performance he gave and the season he’s had.
“I wouldn’t want to say anything before seeing the scans, but I fear the worst. He has damaged the ligaments in the right knee and the signs are not great.
“I expect the worst - a cruciate ligament - and those injuries go from six to seven months.
“The manner he has done it, the way he has felt the knee opening and the pain he has got in the top of the patella tendon, I do fear the worst.”
Ramis, along with Gary Caldwell and Maynor Figueroa, restricted Fulham to only one real shot on goal - the first-half strike from Giorgos Karagounis that flashed past Ali Al Habsi and in off the far post.
And the Wigan boss acknowledged the former Real Mallorca man would leave a massive hole in his backline.
“I thought Ivan was outstanding throughout the game, and you are starting to see a centre-half that has adapted to the British game.
“He is someone very, very important, and we will miss him because he has been a top, top centre-half for us.
“We missed him when he had a little niggle, and we would miss him again.
“Let’s hope we’ve all got the wrong idea and we get good news from the scan.”