Wigan midfielder Ben Watson could return to first-team training early next year, as his broken leg will not require surgery.

The Latics man suffered the injury due to an accidental collision with Raheem Sterling during last weekend’s Premier League clash against Liverpool.

It has been feared that Watson may be out for the rest of the season, but Roberto Martinez revealed that he could be back in action in the New Year:

“It’s not as bad as it could have been, that’s for certain.” He told Wigan’s official website.

“It’s still a very serious injury and we need to ensure that Ben is given all the time that he needs to make a full recovery.

“The good news is that he won’t be out for as long as we initially thought and with the character that Ben has, he will be able to deal with such an injury.”

The Spaniard also confessed that the former Crystal Palace man’s absence wil be felt:

“Ben has just started put his stamp on the team and he will be missed in the group because of the type of lad he is.”

The London-born midfielder arrived at the DW Stadium in 2009, but initially failed to make impact.

Loan spells QPR and West Brom, during 2009 and 2010 respectively, have forced him back into Martinez’s plans for the current season.

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