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Page last updated at 15:17 GMT, Friday, 16 July 2010 16:17 UK

Titus Bramble ahead in fitness race for Wigan Athletic

Titus Bramble
Bramble missed just two league games for Wigan last season

Wigan Athletic centre-back Titus Bramble says he is ahead in his battle to be fit for the start of the season.

The 28-year-old former Ipswich and Newcastle defender missed the last two games of last season with a stress fracture in his foot.

He told the Wigan Observer: "The foot feels good and it's just a case of getting the strength back now."

The Latics play Blackpool in the opening game of the Premier League season on 14 August.

He added: "The initial estimate was 14 weeks out, but I'm hoping that was worst-case scenario and I'm definitely aiming to beat that and I think I can.

"I just haven't been able to do that, not even joining in five-a-sides with my mates. You can only really go on the bike in the gym, and that kind of rehab is so boring.

"But it's part of the game. I've had a few injuries down the years and I know the drill."

Fellow Wigan centre-back Gary Caldwell has already been ruled out for the opening part of the season after undergoing surgery on both hips.

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