Wigan manager Chris Hutchings has revealed it is 'touch and go' as to whether Emile Heskey will be ready for England's internationals next month.
Heskey had a screw inserted into his right foot after he suffered a stress fracture of the fifth metatarsal.
The usual recovery time for such an injury is four to six weeks, which is cutting it fine if Heskey is to be named in the England squad for the 2008 qualifiers with Estonia and Russia on October 13 and 17.
After his superb re-emergence on to the international scene last week, Heskey's loss will undoubtedly be felt by manager Steve McClaren should he fail to be fit.
Hutchings said: 'I suppose it is touch and go for those England games now. It all depends on the speed of his recovery.
'From our point of view, we want Emile back as soon as possible, and he is certainly going to be a big miss for us.
'Realistically, we are probably looking at Emile missing between four and six weeks' football.
'If he is back in action any sooner than that it would be a huge bonus.'
Describing the incident early in Saturday's 1-1 draw with Fulham at the JJB Stadium, Hutchings added: 'It was all very innocuous.
'Emile just slipped on the turf and rolled his ankle, but these things happen sometimes.
'At first we feared it was ligament damage, but the scan revealed a slight hairline fracture of the metatarsal.
'It's very unfortunate for Emile after the week he had with England, and especially as he has started the season so brightly.'