Roberto Martinez has insisted he will continue to be careful with Gary Caldwell after the defender made his first Wigan appearance of the season in the victory over Swansea.
Caldwell underwent double hip surgery during the summer but returned to action on Tuesday as the Latics beat Martinez's old club 2-0 to book their place in the quarter-finals of the Carling Cup.
He had also turned out for Scotland at the start of the month but Martinez did not want to rush him back into the Premier League too quickly.
And the Wigan manager will monitor Caldwell closely ahead of Saturday's trip to Fulham before deciding whether he should play or not.
"He is a very respected player in the squad and everyone has suffered with him while he has been out," Martinez said.
"It has been a long-term injury and a long spell away from the pitch, but he has been around the training ground. You can't keep him away from the players even when he is injured.
"He has that relationship with the players and that influence, and it was great to see him enjoying his football for 90 minutes.
"Now we need to make sure he is ready for the next game fully fit. It would be a big mistake to force him and push him if he is not ready."
A player just beginning his rehabilitation from injury is James McCarthy, who suffered ankle ligament damage after being tackled by Bolton's Fabrice Muamba last Saturday.
Martinez announced earlier in the week that the midfielder was likely to be sidelined for around two months, but he has now admitted that it could be up to 12 weeks.
"The whole joint needs a bit of work and the medial ligament is ruptured completely," Martinez said.
"We expect it to be between 10 and 12 weeks before we see James back. We have to reconstruct the joint just to make sure the ligament heals well and to make sure there are no further problems.
"We are still making the final decision on what is going to be the best way to go about the first three weeks of the rehab, but there is no fracture of the bone, which is what we feared a little bit before."