Joe Garner planning to give Wigan Athletic a boost with return at Queens Park Rangers

Striker Joe Garner
Striker Joe Garner

Striker Joe Garner says he is back in training and aiming to be in the action for Wigan’s trip to Queens Park Rangers this weekend.

But he admitted he still does not know why he was forced off in the recent defeat at Preston.

Garner, 31, has been out of action with a rib injury since the Latics’ 3-0 defeat against his old club at Deepdale.

That was Wigan’s first defeat of the new Championship season but Garner returns with the side now on a four-match losing run.

Without Garner the Latics have exited the Carabao Cup to Stoke and lost to Leeds and Middlesbrough.

And with the side without a goal in their last four games Garner’s return to fitness is a much needed boost.

He said: “My rib is healed, I’ve had a couple of injections in it and I’ve been back out training so I will be available hopefully for the weekend.

“I will see how I am on Friday but I will be travelling with the squad and we go from there.”

Garner came off with that rib injury at Deepdale just 26 minutes in. At first it was thought he was brought off due to a head injury.

The striker had been struck in the face by a fierce Ben Pearson strike and was told by the referee to leave the field due to concussion.

That left him off the park for a corner with North End’s Sean Maguire opening the scoring in the sixth minute.

Garner says he tried to talk to referee Jeremy Simpson about it at the break but the official did not speak to him.

And the striker says he is still confused about the situation. “To be honest I don’t really know what happened,” said Garner. “I asked him to stay on and he said go off.

“I don’t know the rules or whatever it is and I still don’t know them now!

“It is a funny one really because obviously I don’t mind heading it away and I got made to go off so I was not happy.

“We have to go to QPR positive, get at them and hopefully get the three points – that is what we need.

“In patches we have played well and hopefully we can play really well for 90 minutes.

“It has been tough. We’ve had a few tough results lately, we have played all right in patches.

“The other night against Middlesbrough we were the better side for 20 minutes we just need to try and score when we are on top and hopefully we can do that over the weekend.”