Wigan Athletic boss delivers update on Jordan Cousins, Gwion Edwards, Tendayi Darikwa and Charlie Wyke
Leam Richardson has delivered an upbeat injury and fitness update on several players he expects to return to the first-team fold before too long.
First up were midfielder Jordan Cousins and forward Gwion Edwards, who made their long-awaited return to action for the Under-21s in midweek against Cardiff.
Cousins tore a calf muscle in the opening pre-season friendly at Bamber Bridge back in June.
Edwards, meanwhile, has been sidelined for even longer, having tweaked an Achilles tendon on the very first day of pre-season training.
Speaking after their comebacks, Richardson said: "The more they can stay on the grass, the better for everyone.
"They've still got a lot of work to do to get back up to speed, but it was another big step for them both.
"And just having them in and around the squad, at the training ground, is a massive plus for us all."
The duo still have plenty of work to do, after missing the majority of the all-important pre-season schedule.
"Nobody wants to miss those weeks during pre-season, which gives you that solid base to get you through the long campaign ahead," added the Latics boss.
"We'll make sure they get up to speed as quickly as possible, and tick off those pre-season marks the rest of the boys already have."
There was also positive news on skipper Tendayi Darikwa, who was helped off against Burnley last month with a suspected dislocated shoulder.
"The specialist clarified that he didn't need an operation after all, which was good news in a way," reported Richardson.
"But at the same time it prolongs the healing process.
"Knowing Tendayi, and the medical team, they're working tirelessly hard to get him back.
"It's not as bad as we first thought, fingers crossed we might see him back in a couple of weeks, after the international break."
Richardson also revealed why striker Charlie Wyke was a surprise absence from the squad for last weekend's trip to Luton.
"Charlie felt a little tightness in his quad before the weekend," he added.
"So it was more precautionary than anything that he missed out.
"He's had a few days off now and should be okay.
"Before you know it, you're getting back to full numbers, and you need that in the Championship with the output you need to produce.”