LATICS boss Roberto Martinez admits his need to bring in squad reinforcements before the end of the month is more pressing than ever after Antolin Alcaraz and James McCarthy were added to the injured list.
McCarthy limped off after just over an hour of the 0-0 draw at Swansea on Saturday with what appeared to be a knee injury, although Martinez suggested afterwards the root of the problem may well be the ankle he damaged against Villarreal at the start of the month.
The news is even worse regarding Alcaraz, who only lasted 37 minutes of his first appearance of the campaign before picking up a calf strain that could rule him out for several weeks.
“The squad was quite light in any case, but the injuries from Saturday mean we desperately need to bring in bodies,” Martinez told the Evening Post.
“We’ll be trying our best on that one, but as ever in the meantime it’s about the players we have here who did so very well at Swansea.”
Martinez’s No.1 priority of the window had been to bring in a new winger to cover the double departure of Charles N’Zogbia and Tom Cleverley, with Manchester City’s Shaun Wright-Phillips believed to be high on his wanted list.
But his attentions could now be switched to his backline, with Steve Gohouri already on the sick list with a calf problem of his own and Adrian Lopez still recovering from the knock to the head he suffered against Norwich last weekend.
Typically, Martinez took ‘full responsibility’ for rushing Alcaraz back into the fold with less than two weeks of pre-season conditioning under his belt.
“The injury to Antolin was the real disappointing aspect of the day,” he added.
“He was obviously desperate to play and we were all desperate to get him involved.
“But he probably hasn’t had anywhere near enough regeneration after the Copa America, and to lose him to a soft-tissue injury is hard to take.
“For that, I take full responsibility for pushing him too hard, too early.
“But it was just the need to have him available because of the injuries we had to Steve Gohouri and Adrian Lopez.
“We’ll try and get him back as quickly as possible, but I don’t think he has any chance of playing against Queens Park Rangers next weekend.
“You have to be extra cautious with soft-tissue injuries and we won’t be making the same mistake twice.”
Thankfully, the prognosis on McCarthy is nowhere near as bleak.
“James is still feeling his way back from his ankle injury, and that will be the case for a few weeks,” Martinez revealed.
“But the good news is he is progressing well – certainly not as bad as Antolin, nowhere near as bad.”