Wigan Athletic star sidelined until October
Wigan Athletic will be without midfielder Jordan Cousins until October after a freak injury.
The former Stoke man has been absent from the last three pre-season friendlies against Bolton, a Liverpool XI and Oldham.
And boss Leam Richardson has revealed the reason is down to a torn calf muscle.
Having missed two-thirds of last term with hamstring and thigh issues, Cousins was hoping to get a solid summer programme under his belt to hit the ground running this time.
And Richardson has been left reeling at the loss of a player who proved to be an integral part of the side when fitness has permitted.
"Jordan's had probably the most unluckiest period imaginable with injury," said the Latics boss.
"He's torn his calf this time, and he'll be out for a number of weeks, probably two months, maybe even two and a half months.
"When he does get a knock, they do tend to be on the severe end of the scale.
"But what you do know about Jordan is he'll always do his best to come back fitter, stronger, healthier - both physically and mentally - and I expect the same again."
The initial prognosis would sideline Cousins until the end of September.
But that falls in the middle of the first international break of the campaign, with Latics' next outing being the trip to Rotherham on October 1.
And having seen his pre-season cut in half, however, it remains to be seen whether Cousins would need additional time to get fully match fit.