Mackay hit by Cowie KO blow

Wigan's Don Cowie is out for two to three weeks
Wigan's Don Cowie is out for two to three weeks

DON Cowie will miss most of Wigan Athletic’s survival fight after damaging a knee in training.

The 32-year-old has been ruled out for ‘two to three weeks’ by Malky Mackay.

Don took a nasty fall in training, and is maybe going to be out for two or three weeks, We’ve had him scanned and unfortunately there’s bone bruising there

Malky Mackay

That means he could miss five of Wigan’s final seven matches – the Easter double-header against Middlesbrough and Derby, the trips to Fulham and Millwall, and the visit of Brighton on April 18.

With only James McClean (31) and James Perch (35) having made more appearances this season than Cowie (30), the Latics boss admits it’s a blow to his plans.

“Don took a nasty fall in training, and is maybe going to be out for two or three weeks,” revealed Mackay. “It’s just one of those things, the way he fell.

“We’ve had him scanned and unfortunately there’s bone bruising there.”

There’s better news regarding James McClean, who’s reported no after-effects from the ankle injury he sustained ahead of Ireland’s 1-1 draw with Poland on Sunday, when he appeared off the bench.

“I think there was more made of that than it actually was,” revealed Mackay.

“We were immediately contacted by the Irish team doctor and it was nothing worse than a bruise.”

McClean’s second-half cameo helped inspire Ireland to come from behind and secure a deserved point.

One typically committed challenge within seconds of entering the fray helped to rally his side – and the crowd – to one last effort.

“That’s just the kind of boy he is,” recognised Mackay.

“The commitment he’s shown me here since day one, the way he throws himself into every training session and everything I ask him to do, shows how much he cares – and I love that about him.

“The talent is obviously there as well – it just needs to be moulded and shaped.

“There’s a lot more to come from him. But he’s a good boy who desperately wants to do well and wants help to do that.”

McClean is back in the reckoning after completing a two-match ban for accruing 10 bookings, the last of which was awarded for dissent at Rotherham.

“We’ve missed his pace and his firepower, and it will be good to get him back in the fold,” added Mackay.

“It was a disappointment in terms of his ban, and the booking that led to it, something that was a bit annoying to me.

“In general, there’s certain little tweaks he’s got to make to his character, and he’s got to make sure he doesn’t get booked for talking back to referees. That’s something we’ll work on, but it’s about learning and improving – and he will do that.”