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Mamelodi Sundowns beat Vita Club 3-1

Football
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By ESPN Staff

Whelan: Heskey will bounce back from injury

Wigan chairman Dave Whelan has backed England striker Emile Heskey to bounce back after fracturing a metatarsal within days of resurrecting his international career.

The 29-year-old, who performed with such distinction against Israel and Russia last week after his recall by Steve McClaren, limped off just nine minutes into Wigan's 1-1 Premier League draw with Fulham on Saturday.

He was taken to hospital for a scan and his worst fears were confirmed. He now seems certain to miss his country's clashes with Estonia and Russia next month.

However, Whelan is confident Heskey will quickly get over his disappointment.

'He will bounce back, he's that kind of lad. Nothing worries him,' he said.

'It is bad luck, we are all aware of that. We were shocked yesterday. He just jumped up in the air and came down on his ankle.

'To do that is such bad luck, bad for Wigan, bad for England.

'But England seem to be having quite a bit of bad luck at present with injuries.

'Hopefully we will come through it and beat Russia.'

Heskey's partnership with former Liverpool team-mate Michael was a major factor in England's back-to-back 3-0 Euro qualifier wins, which revived their hopes of making next summer's finals.

However, he now faces six weeks on the sidelines, and that is a blow to both club and country.

Whelan told Sky Sports News: 'He played out of his skin - but he does that every week for Wigan Athletic.

'It was Sod's Law. He was playing so well and then he breaks a bone in the first five minutes.

'It's been a fantastic week, but a disappointing end. He has cracked a metatarsal in his foot.

'It's not a serious one, but it is still six weeks and I think he will definitely miss the first England game.'

McClaren called upon Heskey with Wayne Rooney still working his way back to full fitness and Peter Crouch suspended for the Israel game.

Such was his contribution to his country's success that a debate started to take place over whether or not he should keep his place for the forthcoming matches.

Sadly for him, those arguments now appear to be academic and McClaren will have to think again.

England players have been plagued by metatarsal injuries in recent seasons with Owen, Rooney, David Beckham, Steven Gerrard, Gary Neville and Joey Barton all having been struck down.