GARY Caldwell received a bitter blow with the news Kevin McNaughton’s hamstring injury is worse than first thought.
The 32-year-old lasted less than 45 minutes of last Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at Gillingham before limping off.
And after initial hopes the injury wasn’t serious, Caldwell now fears McNaughton will be sidelined for some time.
“It could be worse than first feared,” admitted Caldwell.
“Kev had a problem with his hamstring and he’s getting a specialist opinion.”
But following a game which also left centre back Donervon Daniels in the treatment room for a head knock, there is some light on the horizon for the Latics chief.
Caldwell confirmed Daniels “is fine” after being assessed following his early exit and he is expecting to have a trio of reinforcement back in action soon.
“The good news is Tim (Chow) and Emyr (Huws) are back in full training so from a positive note they’re back in contention to play soon,” revealed Caldwell.
And Jason Pearce, back in full training following sustaining a leg injury at the start of pre-season, is also nearing a return.
“Pearce is excellent,” said Caldwell.
“He’s the type of player you have to hold back and make sure he is right before you throw him in.
“He’s so hungry to do well and since he’s been back in training back to his old self, kicking people and throwing himself about in training so he’s ready to come back into contention pretty soon.”