Fingers crossed for Caldwell

Gary Caldwell (centre) celebrates heading in the opening goal against Southampton
Gary Caldwell (centre) celebrates heading in the opening goal against Southampton

ROBERTO Martinez is keeping his fingers crossed Gary Caldwell will make Wigan’s trip to Chelsea tomorrow, with injury having again depleted his defence.

The Latics skipper is fighting to recover from a a damaged hip that ruled him out of Scotland’s midweek international against Estonia.

And with up to FOUR centre-backs already ruled out, Martinez will give Caldwell every chance to prove his fitness.

“Gary is 50/50 for the weekend,” Martinez revealed.

“He picked up a knock to the hip area last weekend that is stopping him from moving freely. It is not a major problem but it’s something we need to keep an eye on.

“He joined up with the Scotland squad only to meet up with the new manager (Gordon Strachan), and the people involved in his set-up.

“We all knew he wasn’t physically fit to play the game so it was no surprise when he returned to Wigan.

“We’ll assess him over the next 24 hours, and see if there is any chance of him being available.”

Ivan Ramis is out for the season with knee-ligament damage, while Antolin Alcaraz is still not back after over five months out with a groin problem.

Emmerson Boyce is unlikely to feature after damaging a hamstring at Stoke last week, while Adrian Lopez is also feeling his way back from a similar problem.

“This season has been so difficult, strange even, with the amount of injuries we’ve had, but you have to cope with it,” Martinez added.

“We went to Stoke last week and we had a 20-year-old (Roman Golobart) making his Premier League debut, but as a football club you need to react to anything and be able to continue performing.

“You can’t use it as an excuse, though, and we’ll have 11 men out there on the pitch, don’t worry about that.”

On the plus side, Arouna Kone is expected to play after his earlier-than-expected return from the African Nations Cup.

Martinez reported the striker had “lost a little bit of weight” during his spell away, but was in otherwise good shape.