Roberto Martinez thinks Ben Watson will be fully fit before end of season
Wigan manager Roberto Martinez says Ben Watson is back in training and could return before the end of the season.
Last Updated: 28/02/13 3:21pm
It was feared that the 27-year-old might be on the sidelines until the 2013/14 campaign when he broke his leg in an innocuous challenge with Liverpool's Raheem Sterling in November.
However, Watson did not need an operation and has made a quick recovery, giving the Latics a boost ahead of the return fixture with Liverpool at the DW Stadium this Saturday.
Martinez said: "He is already on the grass, and that is something we didn't expect until probably the end of March.
"I will be very surprised if he doesn't get at least one or two games before the season finishes.
"That is very encouraging and it shows a lot from Ben. How he has been acting on a daily basis and how professional he has been in his recovery.
"It is a real good boost for everyone to see his smiling face around the training ground and he is looking forward to just being on the pitch, which is a refreshing attitude.
"It was sad to look back at what happened at Anfield. It was a very unfortunate incident that nine times out of 10 wouldn't bring a major fracture.
"It was a disappointing moment but now, as we play the return fixture, we see all the positive vibes from Ben that he is going to hopefully be fully fit before the end of the season."
Martinez is hopeful that Maynor Figueroa will be fit for the Liverpool game but the versatile defender is still feeling the effects of a bad tackle by Reading's Pavel Pogrebnyak last weekend, for which the Russian forward was sent off.
"Maynor was very fortunate," said Martinez. "His ankle has been affected but it wasn't a rupture or a major injury in his ligaments.
"It was a little bit higher than a broken ankle. He has got the stud marks and he hasn't been able to train yet.
"We will assess him over the next 48 hours and see where he is for the weekend."