DYLAN Bahamboula will not feature for Latics today because his return international flight is not due back in time for the Good Friday clash with Stevenage.

Bahamboula teamed up with Congo for their Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers straight after the goalless draw at Bradford City on March 20.

The midfielder played in both games – a 0-0 draw with Senegal followed by a 3-0 defeat to Guinea-Bissau – which meant Congo failed to qualify.

Bahamboula was scheduled to arrive back in the north west today.

Under the elite sport exemption, with testing procedures in place, ‘Moyo’ can continue training and competing immediately, although he has to isolate at home for a short period of time.

However, head coach Keith Curle says it will be Easter Monday, and the trip to Crawley Town, before he comes back into contention for his Latics squad.

“His flight lands on Friday,” said Curle. “It’s difficult to ask a player to jump off a plane after a six or seven-hour journey, get through customs and passport control and try to get to the game just in case.

“If anything I think it’s disrespectful to the players that have been training all week to get themselves available.

“But Dylan will certainly be available for the game on Monday as long as he returns from international duty in good health.”

And Curle is hopeful of a further squad boost with a number of casualties close to a comeback.

“The pleasing thing is a lot of the injured players are back in their field based rehab and it’s just a case of waiting for the green light from the medical department to say that players now are available even if it’s just for, in their opinion, short periods of time within games, they can come back and play 30 minutes, 45 minutes or potentially even an hour,” he explained, ahead of this afternoon’s home game with Stevenage.

“But it’s building up that trust and relationship with the staff because they want the players back fit and off the treatment table, but what they don’t want is to send them back too soon and risk the players being injured again.

“I know it’s frustrating, and it is frustrating for me not to have the players back and for me to have a look at them, because I’ve heard good things about some of the players that are out at the minute and I want to see them playing.”