FRANCISCO Junior has returned to Everton to receive treatment on a troublesome groin problem.
But with the 23-year-old’s loan deal at the DW due to expire on January 16, there has to be a question mark over whether he has played his last game for Wigan Athletic.
He’s definitely here until next month, and we’ll be able to assess the loan situation as soon as we get the full diagnosisGary Caldwell
Latics boss Gary Caldwell admits he’d love to extend Junior’s loan until the end of the season if all parties are in agreement.
But both he and the player are sweating over the results of a scan to ascertain the full extent of the damage before a decision can be made.
“He has a problem in his groin area, and he’s been sent back to Everton,” Caldwell told the Evening Post.
“We don’t know the full extent of it, they’ll be assessing it there.
“We’ll see how he is this week, and hopefully it’s not too bad and we can get him back soon.
“It was a problem he first picked up earlier in the season, and he’s been playing with it, trying to get by.
“It’s flared up a bit worse than it has been, so we’ll let Everton’s medical staff have a look at him.”
The former Benfica midfielder has scored one goal - the crucial stoppage-time winner against Swindon on October 31 - for Latics in 12 appearances since his summer arrival.
But he has struggled to nail down a regular place in the side, his last sighting coming in the goalless draw at Southend on November 28.
Nevertheless, Caldwell is adamant the player could have a key role to play between now and the end of the season - assuming the injury diagnosis is not serious.
“He’s definitely here until next month, and we’ll be able to assess the loan situation as soon as we get the full diagnosis,” Caldwell added.
“It’s definitely something we’ll be looking at extending if we can.
“I think he’s done great for us while he’s been here.
“He’s had a few niggling injuries that have knocked him back.
“But when he’s played he’s showed great quality on the ball, and he’s shown he can pop up with important goals.
“He’s certainly someone we’d like to keep at the club if we can.”