Maloney to see specialist

Shaun Maloney
Shaun Maloney

SHAUN Maloney will see a specialist tomorrow to get the bottom of his worrying back problem.

The Latics forward has missed the last two matches after picking up the injury on international duty earlier this month.

And while the team have coped well in his absence - beating Ipswich 2-0 yesterday on the back of a creditable 0-0 draw against Zulte Waregem on Thursday - boss Owen Coyle is desperately hoping the damage is not serious.

“It’s a source of frustration for Shaun and it’s a source of frustration for me because I know he is an outstanding player,” Coyle said after seeing Latics move back into the top half of the Championship table.

“When he he’s fit and available he is in the Wigan Athletic side, there’s no doubt about that.

“He tweaked his back when he went away with the Scotland squad the other week, although he played both games and was their matchwinner in the second one.

“He wanted to play at Leicester because he cares so much, but I think we all saw that it wasn’t the Shaun Maloney that we all know and love.

“We had to bring him off and his back was still bothering him ahead of the trip to Belgium so he didn’t travel with the rest of the squad.

“He was scanned last week which shown a little irritation, and he’ll see the specialist on Tuesday so we can ascertain exactly what the damage is.

Coyle added: “We’re hoping it’s just the usual wear and tear you would expect from players over the age of 30 and, if he is out, it won’t be for too long.”