Jason Kerr on 'huge relief' of safe Wigan Athletic return - and his debt to the medical staff

Jason Kerr made a successful return from injury against Doncaster on Tuesday nightJason Kerr made a successful return from injury against Doncaster on Tuesday night
Jason Kerr made a successful return from injury against Doncaster on Tuesday night
Jason Kerr admitted it was a 'massive relief' to get through his Wigan Athletic first-team comeback unscathed after 14 months out.

The 26-year-old played the full 90 minutes of the Bristol Street Motors Trophy defeat at Doncaster Rovers.

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It was his first outing since sustaining a serious knee injury at Swansea back in November 2022.

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Kerr's attempted return for the Development Squad before Christmas saw him pick up a foot injury that set him back weeks. But he was delighted to get back on the field and take the first step to a return to the backline on a regular basis.

"Firstly I want to give a big shout out to the medical staff, sports scientists, and the manager for giving me my chance to come back after 14 months out," he said.

"The knee injury took around 11 to 12 months to recover from, and then, unfortunately, I got a little foot injury that kept me out for a little bit of time.

"But it's a massive relief to be back on the pitch - I've missed it so much. I've missed playing with the boys, and I've missed the fans as well, so it's a big relief.

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"On a positive note, it's good to be back after 14 months, but I'm disappointed that we haven't gone through to the next round."

Unfortunately for Latics, the sight of Kerr back on the field was about as good as it got on a hugely disappointing night in South Yorkshire.

Charlie Wyke gave Latics the perfect start with a clinical header on 11 minutes, but the home side gradually came back into the game.

It was no surprise when Owen Bailey equalised with 20 minutes to go, and Rovers went through to the last eight of the competition 4-2 on penalties.

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"I think in the first half, we played well, we were passing and moving about, we got our goal and were doing well," assessed Kerr.

"In the second half, it was a completely different game, we let them back in, we lost a lot of our duels, we didn't play as much, which led to them getting their goal.

"I think it was a game of two halves. We did have chances in the second half, but I just think if we'd played as well in the second half as we did in the first, it would have been an easier game for us.

"It's obviously a lottery when it does go to penalties, but hopefully the lads who missed won't get too down because we've got another big game just around the corner."

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Kerr is already looking ahead to the visit of fourth-bottom Reading in the league on Saturday, with only a five-point buffer between the two sides.

"The league is important," he added. "We've got a lot of work to do as we're not that far off the bottom, so we've got to get quite a few wins on the board to help push us up the table."