WIGAN Athletic have confirmed that midfielder Ben Watson sustained a double fracture to his leg in the 2-0 victory over Barnsley.
Watson was stretchered off while receiving oxygen after just 20 minutes following a sickening collision with Martin Woods that pole-axed both players, and went straight to hospital for scans.
Despite the victory, all of the focus after the game was on Watson, who missed almost six months of last term with a badly broken right leg before returning in time to make himself an FA Cup hero.
The club have stressed though that although the break is on the same leg, it is in a different place and not considered career-threatening.
Immediately after the game, manager Uwe Rosler said he wasn’t sure of the extent of the injury but it has now been confirmed as the worst case scenario and that Watson has sustained a double fracture to the fibula and tibia bone.
“Until everything was confirmed, we did not want to go on the record but we have now had time to make a good assessment,” he said.
“Ben will receive the best possible treatment and we will do everything to help him make a speedy recovery. He is a terrific professional, a fighter, and I am sure he will return from this latest setback like he did a year ago when he went on to experience the high of scoring the winning goal in the FA Cup Final at Wembley, and write himself into the heart of every Wigan Athletic supporter.
“To lose a player and a person of Ben’s quality is a big blow to us but we will re-group and move on as a squad and keep trying to achieve our goals for the season, with the added incentive now of doing it for Ben.”
Latics’ players also added their best wishes on Twitter, with James McClean saying: “Good solid win keep momentum going, overshadowed my bens injury, hope he has a speedy recovery top lad and player”.
Josh McEachran, who replaced Watson, tweeted: “Gutted for Ben. Hope your ok Mate!”
Barnsley player Woods, who was involved in the collision, also wished Watson the best, posting on Instagram: “Really hope Ben Watson has a speedy recovery from his leg break horrible to be a part of that tackle tonight and quite easily could have been me. Thoughts and prayers are with the lad.”