Bruce may delay Mido return

25 February 2009 06:01
Wigan boss Steve Bruce may delay striker Mido's return until after the Chelsea game.

The Latics are struggling to score at present after losing key players Wilson Palacios and Emile Heskey in the transfer window.

They have found the net just once in their last six games and have failed to score on their four most recent trips away from the JJB Stadium.

With such a paltry goalscoring record at present, Bruce admits Mido is an 'option' for the trip to Stamford Bridge.

But the Latics boss is also worried about over-exerting the Egyptian striker given Wigan then face West Ham at home next Wednesday.

Same mistakeHe does not want to make the same mistake twice after Mido scored on his debut against Liverpool and then played against Villa three days later.

But he then could not train for much of the next week and needed pain-killing injections to play against Fulham, where he limped off before half-time.

Bruce told the Wigan Evening Post: "Mido is another option for Saturday, although I'm also going to look at the fact we've got two games in five days.

"The last time we were in this situation, he didn't quite manage it. Since the Fulham game, we have got him in good shape and we'll see how he is nearer to the weekend.

"It might be too much asking him to play Saturday and Wednesday. That might sound ridiculous to some, and I can understand them thinking that.

Intensity"But you've got to bear in mind the intensity at which these players have to play at.

"At Middlesbrough last Saturday, my three midfield lads Lee Cattermole, Michael Brown and Ben Watson, all covered more than 12km.

"Would you ask an athlete, even without all the bumps and bruises you pick up in football, to run to such a high level twice in a few days?"

Bruce may also hold back Antonio Valencia until after the Chelsea game, despite the winger returning to training on Tuesday as he recovers from a hamstring injury.

"We have to be careful with Antonio," said Bruce, referring to the player's aborted comeback earlier in the month.

"He came back too quickly last time and aggravated the injury, so we'll have to see."

Source: SKY_Sports