Alcaraz close to first team return

The centre back last featured for the Latics in the Capital One Cup victory over Nottingham Forest, a game in which the Paraguayan was red carded.

Following his subsequent suspension Alcaraz suffered a bad groin injury whilst away on international duty and has yet to return to full fitness for the Latics.

Latics boss Roberto Martinez has today told the Wigan Evening Post that Alcaraz is 'nearly' ready to return after coming through a behind closed doors fixture unscathed.

Martinez said: “We need to make sure we don’t push him now, having been so patient for so long, but he’s already played 20 minutes behind-closed-doors and he came through that fine.

“From a medical point of view, he is nearly, nearly there, and will probably come back into the equation over the next couple of games. He’s back training with the group and he’s slowly adapting to the workload. It’s more a case of adaptation to work now rather than injury healing.

“We have had so many players missing this season that, if we can get them all back this month, they could become the most important signings anyone will make this month.”

The centre back landscape at the club has changed since Alcaraz's last game, although his return will allow Maynor Figueroa to push Jean Beausejour for the left wing back role.