WIGAN Athletic boss Roberto Martinez faces an anxious wait to discover whether the recent flurry of fixtures has robbed him of the services of Franco di Santo for the relegation run-in.
The Argentine striker, such an influential figure in Wigan’s upturn in fortunes, lasted barely half an hour of Saturday’s 2-1 defeat at Fulham before limping off with a calf problem.
Di Santo will be scanned by the medical staff, with any kind of lasting damage potentially ruling him out of next weekend’s vital visit of Newcastle and possibly even the pivotal final two games against Blackburn and Wolves.
With Hugo Rodallega having been sidelined for six weeks with a knee injury of his own, and Conor Sammon still waiting for his first goal of the season, it leaves Martinez with a massive striking headache at the worst possible time of the campaign.
“Franco felt his calf midway through the first half and you can understand that feeling after the demands on him and the rest of the team recently,” Martinez told the Evening Post.
“It came as a result of too much football in a short period of time, but these things happen.
“We had a few knocks and bruises going into the game, and unfortunately Franco wasn’t able to continue.
“We’ll asses his situation and we’ll all be keeping our fingers crossed he will be ready for next week.”
Rodallega has been champing at the bit to get back out there and play his part after a stop-start campaign that has seen him bag just two goals.
But the Colombian has a proven pedigree – especially at this stage of the campaign – and Martinez will be keeping a close eye on his progress in the treatment room and on the training ground this week.
Meanwhile, Latics will be cheered on by a sold-out away contingent for the crucial clash at Blackburn on Monday, May 7.
Latics were given their full allocation of almost 3,000 tickets for a game that could have huge ramifications at the bottom.
The 100 or so tickets that remain will be snaffled up this morning by a travelling army that also sold-out their allocation at Fulham on Saturday.
“The travelling support was amazing once again on Saturday and, going into the final stages of the game, we could really feel their energy,” a proud Martinez added.
“It’s a shame we couldn’t reward that support, which has been so strong.
“But we know we can rely on them at our DW Stadium next weekend against Newcastle.”