Wigan manager Steve Bruce is confident Emile Heskey will come through the latest niggling injury to affect his return from a broken foot.
The England striker was forced off during last weekend's draw with Manchester City after picking up a slight hamstring strain.
Heskey also left the field early yesterday after complaining of a pain in his groin in the second half of the 4-1 defeat to Bolton at the Reebok Stadium.
With Wigan's position in the relegation dogfight worsening, Bruce needs Heskey firing at full throttle ahead of the packed Christmas programme.
And while he is confident Wigan's record signing will be fit for next Saturday's third north-west derby on the trot against Blackburn, Bruce accepts it may take some time for Heskey to ease himself into the fray.
'Emile is a bit sore around the groin area,' said Bruce.
'The big problem for Emile is that he has been out for 10 weeks.
'He is such a big physical powerfully-built lad it is going to take him some time to get back into it. But we think he is going to be okay.'