Burnley boss Brian Laws admits he must make a speedy decision on the fitness of midfielder Chris McCann.
McCann suffered cruciate and medial knee ligament in September but lasted just 12 minutes of his Premier League comeback in January against Bolton.
Laws rates the 22-year-old highly and has no doubts he would benefit from his availability but insists the timing of his comeback could be crucial.
The former Sheffield Wednesday boss fears drafting McCann back into the first team too early could return to haunt them later in the year, but he knows he must assess the situation sooner rather than later.
"I think we've got to a point where we need a decision," Laws told Burnley's official website. "If he's going to break down - the decision is made.
"I think we have to get to that point because we can't allow it to go right to the end of the season and give it rest and then he breaks down in the summer."
Laws added: "We have to make a decision sooner rather than later, and we are at that point now."
Meanwhile, Clarets captain Steven Caldwell faces a race against time to make Saturday's clash with Wigan, the club of his younger brother Gary.
The siblings have never faced each other at professional level but the Burnley defender has not played since December through a groin problem and is still a doubt ahead of the Latics trip.
"I'm not ruling it out, although the game will probably come too quickly for me and that would be extremely disappointing," said Caldwell.
"I don't know who the family will be supporting. It will be very difficult. I'm pretty sure that if I'm not playing they will be hoping Wigan do well and it will save them a lot of trouble.
"Obviously I hope Burnley win and Gary has a good game but maybe lets us score a few goals."