Martinez sings Kirkland's praises
Wigan boss Roberto Martinez has paid tribute to Chris Kirkland's bravery at the weekend after he played on with a dislocated finger. The England hopeful picked up the injury in the second half of Sunday's 1-1 draw with Manchester City but still managed to complete the full 90 minutes. Although now a major doubt for this weekend's Lancashire derby with Burnley at Turf Moor, Kirkland has won the praise of his manager. Martinez feels the 28-year-old's character is a shining example for any player to learn from. "He didn't do any damage by carrying on because he is experienced enough now that he knows his body, but it was a good sign that he was able to continue," said Martinez. "That kind of character is what gives you a lot of points at the end of the season. "We've got that throughout the squad, but it was a great example for everybody else. "To see Chris react in that way, it tells you a lot about him at this stage of his career, and what a big asset he is for us. "At this stage we're still assessing Chris and hopefully he'll be able to join us, but we'll wait for the medical advice on that." If Kirkland is ruled out of Saturday's game Martinez has deputies Mike Pollitt and Richard Kingson on standby. "Mike has already played in the league and cup this season, whilst Richard has had a stop-start season with his ankle injury," added Martinez. "But Richard has played with Ghana consistently at international level, so both are ready. "It's just a matter of going into detail, on what we need and where they are with their form, so I will look at that a bit further down the line, but both are desperate to play." Midfielder Paul Scharner has also not trained this week due to a hip injury, and like Kirkland is a major doubt. "Over the next 48 hours we'll assess him and make a decision," said Martinez. "Both Paul and Chris are 50-50, more than anything because we've two sessions before the game, and we haven't been able to do anything with them, so we're keeping our fingers crossed."
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