Bruce keen for Kirkland return
Steve Bruce hopes Chris Kirkland will regain full fitness to help Wigan avoid relegation.
Last Updated: 25/03/08 9:59am
Wigan manager Steve Bruce is hopeful goalkeeper Chris Kirkland will regain full fitness to help the Latics avoid Premier League relegation.
Kirkland, who has also had spells with Coventry and Liverpool, has seen his career blighted by injury and the shot-stopper suffered his latest setback in Wigan's 3-1 defeat to Blackburn on Saturday after sustaining a back injury in the third minute at Ewood Park.
The 26-year-old has since been forced to pull out of the England squad for Wednesday's friendly with France in Paris, which can be seen live on Sky Sports 1.
But Bruce, who sees his side sat just five points clear of the drop zone, is optimistic Kirkland will be back for Saturday's trip to Portsmouth.
"Kirky was moving very gingerly in the dressing room afterwards," Bruce told the Daily Star. "We're keeping our fingers crossed he'll be available for Saturday."