Wigan - Eric Black speaks about 'the injuries'
Wigan Athletic assistant manager, Eric Black, has spoken about the state of fitness concerning two of the Latics most important players, Paul Scharner and Chris Kirkland ahead of this Saturdays season opener at West Ham.
Other players carrying 'knocks` include Emile Heskey, Jason Koumas and Ryan Taylor.
Scharner injured his ankle in the game against Barnsley two weeks a go, landing heavily following a leap to head the ball away from danger and he still hasn`t resumed full training yet.
Black says on Sharner:
'Unfortunately, Paul is still struggling and hasn't started full training yet. He did some straight-line running on Monday but, with an ankle injury, that's not too much of a problem to do."
'It's once you start changing direction and turning that the tendons and ligaments take more pressure on them."
'I think it's touch and go with him but we'll give Paul every chance to prove his fitness ahead of the game."
'If he doesn't make it, we've got Titus Bramble who came in and worked exceptionally hard in pre-season."
'Titus has shown without doubt he is a Premier League centre-back, and I'm sure the manager won't have any hesitation in throwing him in. He has played all of the friendlies and done well.'
Chris Kirkland is a different matter and he hasn`t featured this preseason following more problems with his back, but has goalkeeping coach Nigel Spink revealed to Vital Latics last week he is likely to play on Saturday.
Black says on Kirkland:
"Chris Kirkland is fine, he's responded well to treatment and has been training without any problems for the past couple of days."
Heskey limped off the pitch after 20 minutes on Sunday in the friendly against FC Utrecht but Bruce said at the time that it was nothing to worry about and Black confirms this:
'Emile still has a bit of tightness in the groin area but he'll hopefully be okay to start training again tomorrow."
Jason Koumas and Ryan Taylor are also making good progress according to Black and he says:
'With regard to our other injuries, Jason Koumas started training again with the squad yesterday after a problem with his knee. He trained for three days with the fitness coach first and then joined up with the rest of us, which we're delighted about."
'Ryan Taylor has still got a problem with his shin but he's doing work with the physios.'
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