WIGAN Athletic vice-captain Jason Pearce has been sidelined until the middle of October with damaged knee ligaments.
The 27-year-old limped off in the closing stages of Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Oldham after sustaining the injury.
After being scanned, Pearce was forced to miss Tuesday night’s 2-2 draw against Millwall.
And his absence at the heart of the defence was felt by the team as they failed to hold on to the lead given them by Michael Jacobs’ 53rd-minute goal.
Boss Gary Caldwell admitted both goals Latics conceded against the Lions were ‘really sloppy’, with substitute Will Grigg having to get the side out of jail with a stoppage-time equaliser.
And Latics will have to find a way of shoring up at the back without Pearce, who could miss as many as four matches as he recovers from the problem.
“Jason’s had a medial ligament strain in his knee, he’ll probably be a couple of weeks,” confirmed Caldwell.
The Latics chief was at least able to name Craig Morgan on the bench against Millwall after a month out with a shoulder problem.
The club captain could well return to the starting XI for Saturday’s visit of high-flying Walsall.