Report: Portland Timbers defender Liam Ridgewell set for short-term Wigan loan

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Liam Ridgewell has enjoyed having the last two and a half months off since the Portland Timbers were eliminated from MLS playoff contention in late-October, but the 30-year-old is apparently more than eager to get back to work as he’s close to completing a short-term loan move to Wigan Athletic.

According to The Oregonian, Ridgewell, who signed with the Timbers in the summer and became just the league’s third defender currently on a Designated Player contract, will stay with the English Championship side until late February before returning to the United States for the second half of the Timbers’ preseason.

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Lidgewell also reportedly had interest from Premier League side Crystal Palace, but the Timbers felt a loan to a second-division club would offer them greater flexibility in terms of appearances and return date.

Ridgewell’s final appearance for West Brom came on April 21, nearly three months to the day before his debut for the Timbers. With three months of just this summer, Ridgewell doesn’t seem in danger of breaking down physically from overworking himself. It’s more likely that six or seven weeks with Wigan will provide the Englishman plenty of fitness and match sharpness to make a quick start to his first full MLS season.

When Ridgewell returns, he’ll have two or three weeks to begin forging a partnership alongside expected starting center back Nat Borchers, who was acquired in a trade with Real Salt Lake in December.