Will Grigg insists Wigan Athletic’s injury nightmare would have hurt any team in the Championship.
The Northern Ireland international is hoping to return this weekend against Reading after missing five matches with hamstring damage.
In his absence, Latics have won just once and lost four times, slipping to 16th in the table.
Grigg is not the only injury absentee of late, with Michael Jacobs, Gavin Massey and Chey Dunkley also sidelined.
That run of misfortune has killed any chance of Latics building on a fine start to the season, which saw them reach the dizzy heights of third spot in September. But Grigg says no other team in the division would have weathered a similar kind of storm.
“Players are always going to get injured during a season, but we seem to have suffered more than most so far,” said Grigg.
“And for so many to have been in the same position, in the forward line, is particularly unlucky.
“If that were to happen to any team - in the Championship or any other league - it’s going to hurt.”
Grigg’s injury came on international duty during the previous break, when he pulled up lame minutes after being sent on as a late substitute during Northern Ireland’s 1-0 defeat in Austria.
“It wasn’t even a fatigue-related injury, it was a strange one, the way it went,” he acknowledged.
“I actually felt great at the time, I’d had a 40-minute warm-up waiting to come on, after a good week’s training before that.
“It’s one of those that you look back on and wonder if here’s anything you could have done different, but I genuinely don’t think I would.
“I’d waited so long to get on, I came on as sub, hit the post with my first touch, and then next passage of play it goes.
“Obviously I’d have been hopeful of starting the next game, and it was gutting to be ruled out for so long.”