Hugo tipped for speedy recovery
Latics boss hails crocked striker's positive outlook
Last Updated: September 22, 2011 3:55pm
Wigan manager Roberto Martinez hopes Hugo Rodallega's positive character will help him bounce back from injury quicker than expected.
The Latics boss feared the worst when the Colombia striker was carried off on a stretcher late on in the 3-1 defeat to Everton at the weekend.
However, it was confirmed earlier this week that no serious damage has been done and Martinez is hopeful Rodallega's spirit and optimism will benefit his recovery.
"It is impossible to predict how quickly he will return because we rely on his knee and how quickly he can settle and go back to work," said the manager.
"But it will be nothing compared to the 12 to 15 weeks we expected.
"To lose someone for that time would have been damaging to this squad but I think we will see Hugo quicker than people expect.
"He is a really lively character, always a positive brain, and it has been great to have him around walking - even though he is on crutches.
"He brings a real spark to the training ground. It has never dampened his spirit and he has been a real joy to have around. Even with his injury he has brought a lot of positivity."
Martinez feels the damage might have been more serious had Rodallega not been in as good physical shape.
He added: "All the work Hugo has done on a daily basis allowed him to get away with what was a very strong challenge."
Rodallega's lay-off opens the door for someone else in Martinez's squad to seize their opportunity and the Spaniard is looking forward to one of those on the periphery doing just that.
"The nature of the game is that you need to be calm on suspensions and injuries - the days of having 12 or 13 players are long ago," he added.
"I am very pleased with the manner in which this squad is working really hard and is ready.
"There are going to be a lot of minutes for other players and there is a real determination and desire to help the team over the next few weeks.
"The hungry feeling within the players is evident and they have been working to show they are desperate to play."