Wigan manager Roberto Martinez hopes the return to fitness of Albert Crusat can provide the club with fresh impetus in their attempts to avoid another battle against relegation.
After a three-game unbeaten run at the start of the season, the Premier League club have plummeted into the drop zone following six successive defeats.
Crusat, a signing from Almeria for an undisclosed fee at the end of August as a replacement for Charles N'Zogbia, has missed the majority of his new club's wretched form due to an ankle injury.
But the winger made his first league start in the loss at Newcastle last weekend and Martinez now hopes he will provide a welcome boost for Saturday afternoon's match against Fulham.
"The way Albert plays, the explosive pace he has and the impact he can make, can really kick-start our season," Martinez told the Wigan Evening Post.
"He's struggled with an ankle injury since he's been here, which has been really disappointing for us all - not least Albert himself.
"It's really disrupted his adaptation period, but it was great to see him involved at Newcastle and I thought he looked very sharp.
"As you saw, Albert is a player who will flourish in the Premier League, someone who'll give us a lot of options in attack.
"We have to be patient with him while he finds his feet, but, once he does that properly, he'll be worth the wait."