Christian Walton is on the verge of a welcome return from his broken leg to give Wigan Athletic boss Paul Cook a timely boost ahead of the festive period.
The England Under-21 goalkeeper, on a season-long loan from Brighton, has been out of action since suffering the injury during the club’s open day at Robin Park on August 31.
Walton’s been back on the south coast while he recovers and works towards full fitness.
After an absence of two-and-a-half months, Walton’s rehabilitation is almost over - and Cook is hoping to see him back up at Euxton before long.
“Christian’s still at Brighton, but he’ll hopefully be playing a game or two very soon,” Cook told the Wigan Post.
“That should get him up to speed, and we should be looking at getting back up here by the beginning of December.
“I think everyone would agree Jamie Jones has been excellent – it’s always nice to not miss players when they are out.”
Cook also posted a positive report on Wales international Shaun MacDonald, who badly broke a leg during the penultimate fixture of last term at Reading.
The 29-year-old is also progressing well, with recent footage showing him back on the treadmill.
And Cook says the return of MacDonald and Walton will be like ‘two major signings’ for the second half of the campaign.
“Shaun’s got a smile on his face at the moment, walking around, and that’s great to see,” added the Latics boss.
“And it’ll be like two major signings joining the group.
“We’re doing all right without them – but it’s always great to see quality players edging towards full fitness.
“We haven’t missed Christian, but it’ll be really good to have him back.
“We haven’t missed Shaun either, but it’ll be good to have him back as well.”