Belfast Telegraph

Boyce blow for Latics

Wigan defender Emmerson Boyce faces longer on the sidelines after suffering a setback in his recovery from a hamstring injury.

The versatile Barbados international has been out of action since limping out of Latics' Barclays Premier League draw with Bolton almost eight weeks ago. The player was initially expected to be out for only a fortnight but has met with continual frustration in his attempts to get back fit for Roberto Martinez's men.

Martinez said: "We thought he was close to full fitness but there is a little bit of scar tissue in the injury and we need to make sure he is 100%. He joined the group for one session and he wasn't feeling right, so now we need to make sure he gets back to full fitness."

He added: "We don't want it to develop into an injury that can stop him being 100% for the rest of the campaign."

Boyce's continued absence compounds a worsening situation for Martinez in terms of player unavailability.

On-loan Manchester United midfielder Tom Cleverley is a major doubt with a rib injury, although scans have at least shown only bruising rather than the break first feared.

Club captain Gary Caldwell also remains a concern with a thigh injury despite playing 85 minutes of a behind-closed-doors friendly against Stoke this week.

James McCarthy and Victor Moses are long-term absentees while Villa's visit will also come too soon for ankle injury victim Franco di Santo.

In addition to that, Honduras pair Maynor Figueroa and Hendry Thomas will also miss Saturday's game after picking up one-match suspensions.

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