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McCarthy 'to miss Arsenal tie'

WIGAN boss Roberto Martinez has ruled out a return to action for Ireland star James McCarthy against Arsenal this weekend, writes Aidan Fitzmaurice.

The midfielder has missed the last 16 games for the Latics since suffering ligament damage against Bolton Wanderers in October, but last week McCarthy said he hoped to be back fit for the Arsenal game, though manager Martinez has now said that won't happen.

"He's not far away, but the Arsenal game is probably looking a little bit too early for him," said the Spaniard.

"We need to make sure that when a player has been away for a long time, you must be 100pc so as to avoid any risk of re-injury.

"That's where we stand with James, but it is great to see his real quality back with us in training.

"James is such a delightful character, he's been desperate to get involved and his recovery has gone well.

"He has worked really hard behind the scenes, he's begun training with the group again, even though there are certain aspects of the game that he can't join in with yet."