James’ road to recovery

James McArthur in action against QPR
James McArthur in action against QPR

JAMES McArthur admits he was ‘gutted’ to miss out on representing Scotland in last night’s friendly against Nigeria.

But the main goal for the Latics midfielder at the moment is the start of the pre-season training next month.

While the majority of the Latics squad are enjoying a mixture of sun, sea and sand, McArthur has been down at Christopher Park doing extra fitness work.

The 26-year-old picked up a calf strain in the final game of last term at QPR.

While the problem forced him to cry off international duty last night, McArthur will be good to go when the players return for pre-season next month.

“Representing your country is a great honour and I’m gutted not to have made it,” he told the Evening Post.

“But at the same time I need to do my rehab and make sure I’m ready for the start of pre-season.

“The injury is coming along. I started doing a little bit on the bike yesterday so that’s a really good sign. It’s progressing really well.”

The sight of McArthur limping off at Loftus Road was a hammer-blow to Wigan’s hopes of emerging victorious from the play-offs.

Latics were 1-0 up before losing their midfield enforcer, and saw their play-off dream ended in extra-time.

“I picked up the injury in the first game against QPR but I thought I’d be able to run it off,” he revealed.

“As it turned out I couldn’t and it was unfortunate that I had to come off in the second game.

“ I would have missed the final had we got there but there’s no use thinking about what might have been.

“These things happen in football, but it was probably the best time to pick up a knock.

“I can now spend summer getting right for the start of pre-season.”

With silly season well underway, McArthur’s name has already been linked with a couple of top-flight clubs since the end of last term.

The player, though, couldn’t be happier with life at Wigan.

“It’s a great club to be at – especially since the new manager came in,” McArthur added.

“I’ve really enjoyed playing under him, and he’s been great for my career.”

Gary Caldwell also missed last night’s game through injury.