MALKY Mackay says he is “devastated” that Grant Holt has returned to the club with an injury that could see him ruled out for as long as a year.
The Latics boss confirmed the news in his post-match press conference following the defeat to Sheffield Wednesday, saying the 33-year-old will be on the sidelines for nine to 12 months.
Holt has spent the first part of the season on loan at Huddersfield Town following a decision by former manager Uwe Rosler.
However, Mackay has spoken on a number of occasions of his desire for him to return and play for the club in the new year once that deal ended.
Those plans have been scuppered though after the striker came back with an injury which scans have revealed to be more serious than first feared.
“We scanned his injury late last night and it’s pretty devastating,” said Mackay. “He’s going to be out for nine to 12 months with a knee injury.
“He’s devastated and we are for him. He came off after a pretty innocuous challenge. He limped off. We scanned it and spoke to a specialist and it was confirmed.
“There’s a good chance it’s cruciates. He was going to be one who was going to come in and I’m pretty sure he’d have finished something tonight, I really do.
“He’s an experienced striker and he would have been a good one for us to come in.”
Holt also revealed his disappointment to the club’s official website.
He said: ”Absolutely gutted is an understatement. When I went off on Friday I didn’t think much of it because I carried on for another few minutes.
“To get the scan results and hear what the outcome was is bitterly disappointing.
“I think everyone knows I wanted to come back and show everyone what I’m about. I think people saw that in me when I was out on loan, I was sharp and enjoying my football again, but yes, it’s a big low point at the moment.”
“Personally I just wanted to get back. I’ve had a bit of criticism from certain quarters whilst I’ve been here, but I wanted to show them what I’m about.
“It’s so disappointing because I wanted to come back and do my best for the bunch of lads in that dressing room, it’s a blow for me and a blow for the club because they expected me back and ready to play.
“At the moment it feels like this has kind of typified my career at Wigan, but I’ve got another 18 months here so I’ve got time to do it right.
“I spoke to the manager this morning at length, he gave me his sympathy and told me what he expects of me for the next nine months.
“It’s nice to be appreciated by the manager and all I can say is that I’ll keep myself in the best possible shape to get back.
“There are lots of good fitness and physio staff here who will look after me and make sure I’m in the best possible shape.
“It’s going to be a long road to recovery being out for nine months, but hopefully I can come back and prove myself for the club.”