The Sweden international has not started a game for the Latics in almost 11 months, with a cruciate ligament injury sidelining him in March 2008.
During the intervening period, Maynor Figueroa has established himself as Bruce's first-choice left-back.
That has left Edman kicking his heels on the bench, but Bruce has moved to reassure the former Tottenham man that he remains an integral part of his plans.
"In the last two or three weeks Erik has been champing at the bit, but he has to understand that Figueroa has done fantastically well," Bruce told the Wigan Evening Post.
"Figueroa came from nowhere really. We waited five months to give him his debut - now he's our first choice in that position.
"Erik will have to be patient. He understands that, being the good professional he is.
"He's great to have in the squad, having played 60 games for Sweden and been to two World Cups, and is someone else to think about when Figueroa has been away playing for Honduras."