Jewell happy with Kirkland

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Wigan chief Paul Jewell has played down fears over Chris Kirkland's fitness.

The goalkeeper has been dogged by injuries in recent seasons and his problems reared their head at the weekend as he was forced to withdraw from England's squad for their trip to Macedonia due to a back problem.

The injury would only appear to be minor, as Kirkland has been receiving treatment for sciatica and Jewell expects him to be back in contention in the near future.

"It is just a little bit of sciatica, the physios got together and felt it would not be a good idea to travel to London and then to Macedonia," Jewell said on Sky Sports News.

"He has been in all week for treatment and I don't think there is a problem for Chris."

Jewell is also looking forward to bedding Andy Webster in, after finally being given the green light to field the former Hearts man.

The defender freed himself from his contract with Hearts at the end of last season by using a loophole in European employment law.

Fifa and The FA took time to ratify the move, but finally rubber stamped the transfer this week.

"The Andy Webster thing has been a bit of a shambles at times, we have tried to get this through for a while," added Jewell.

"We finally got the okay during the week that he can now play. I feel sorry for the lad, but Fifa and The FA have taken their time to deal with it."

Meanwhile, Jewell insists he has no qualms about handing a debut to new signing David Cotterill at the weekend.

Jewell says the 18-year-old Welsh international could be thrown into action at Portsmouth.

"I didn't bring him here just to play in the reserves and wrap him in cotton wool.

"Yes, he is one for the future, but if I think he is up to the task then he will get a chance and play.

"He is someone who can also play in a number of positions, either wide, behind the strikers or up front, so if he shows up well then he will be considered."