Sam Morsy is fighting fit and raring to go to give wounded Wigan Athletic a much-needed boost ahead of Saturday’s visit of Leeds.
The Latics skipper has missed the opening three matches of the campaign after damaging a hamstring towards the end of pre-season.
However, after returning to full training with no reaction, he is champing at the bit to face Marcelo Bielsa’s promotion favourites at the DW Stadium.
And after Latics followed up last weekend’s dismal defeat at Preston with Carabao Cup elimination at the hands of Stoke on Tuesday, it’s not before time for Latics boss Paul Cook.
“Sammy’s trained for a few days with the rest of the squad, so there’s no problems with his fitness,” revealed Cook.
“We just didn’t want to stick him in to a game like that on Tuesday, we were never going to risk him.
“But with a full week’s training behind him, he is fit for selection for Leeds.”
The return of Morsy will be a timely fillip for Cook, after much of the optimism from the opening-day win over Cardiff disappeared with two defeats in three days.
“It’ll be a tough game on Saturday,” acknowledged the Latics boss.
“Leeds are a fantastic team, they travel very well with big support, and are probably favourites to win the league.
“We know it’s a difficult task ahead of us, but we’ve got a great record at home – and it’s one we’re looking to maintain at the weekend.”
Cook is assessing whether to ring the changes to his league line-up, after loan arrivals Dujon Sterling and Bright Enobakhare showed up welll against the Potters on debut.
Summer signing Joe Williams also impressed on his first start in midfield, and Cook admits he has food for thought – especially with a tricky trip to Middlesbrough coming up next Tuesday.
“I thought Joe was great against Stoke, he played really well,” he acknowledged.
“We just need to find out what our best team is as quickly as possible.
“It’s impossible to know that yet, when you’re getting lads only making their debuts on Tuesday.
“We’ve got injured players coming back all the time – and that of course gives us plenty of options.”