Kirkland could make Pompey trip
Wigan manager Steve Bruce is confident that Chris Kirkland will be fit to face Portsmouth on Saturday.
By Chris Burton
Last Updated: 26/03/08 10:25am
Wigan manager Steve Bruce is confident that Chris Kirkland will be fit enough to face Portsmouth on Saturday.
The Latics keeper was forced to pull out of England's squad to face France on Wednesday with a back injury, but the problem is not thought to be serious.
With the club still very much embroiled in the battle against the drop in the Premier League, Kirkland's presence at Fratton Park would come as a welcome relief to Bruce's struggling side.
"Thankfully common-sense prevailed and Chris didn't have to travel to London to be assessed by the England doctors," said Bruce.
"The journey wouldn't have been ideal for someone with a bad back, but we do expect him to be okay by the weekend, although his back was still a bit in spasm yesterday."
While the former Birmingham boss looks likely to be able to call on the services of his first choice keeper, he is facing a selection dilemma in midfield with Michael Brown, Wilson Palacios and Jason Koumas all suspended for the trip to the South Coast.
"Having three central midfielders out at a crucial stage isn't ideal," said Bruce.
"But I hope we have enough strength in depth to deal with it."