Caution over Mac dead leg

James McArthur
James McArthur
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ROBERTO Martinez has admitted his concern over James McArthur’s dead leg that is showing no signs of improvement.

The Scotland international has now missed two games with the problem picked up in training on the eve of the Tottenham game earlier this month.

It had been hoped McArthur would be okay to face West Brom, but it now seems he has a fight on his hands to make next Saturday’s trip to Liverpool.

“It’s hard to tell, because we expected James to be fully fit for the West Brom game and it was disappointing to see him miss out,” Martinez told the Evening Post.

“His dead leg is worse than we originally thought, and already we are looking at Thursday or probably Friday before we’ll know if he’ll be okay for Liverpool.”

There is also a concern over Ali Al Habsi, who flew out to join the rest of the Oman squad after Saturday’s 2-1 defeat to West Brom ahead of their crucial World Cup qualifier with Japan on Wednesday.

Al Habsi damaged a shoulder in the warm-up at the weekend, but managed to get through the 90 minutes unscathed. He’ll be assessed before facing Japan, but is expected to lead his nation in what is a massive game for Oman.

“Ali picked up a little knock in his shoulder and we were concerned before the game,” admitted Martinez.

“He was able to play, and now we can assess his situation.”

Ryo Miyaichi will miss Wednesday’s game, and the chance to face his club colleague, through injury, but Martinez expects him to be okay for next weekend.

Martinez also revealed there is no injury issue with Gary Caldwell, who was substituted midway through the second half against West Brom, and who has been left out of Scotland’s squad for their friendly with Luxembourg.