MARCOS Alonso has been handed a boost after initial scans revealed he had not fractured his foot against Blackburn Rovers on Tuesday night.

The Spanish full-back limped off in the second half at Ewood Park and left the ground wearing a protective boot.

He was just two games into his playing return after spending three-and-a-half months on the sidelines with a broken metatarsal sustained in the Carling Cup win over Macclesfield Town in August.

But tests yesterday revealed the damage was only superficial, and he could be back in action much sooner than first thought, although he is due to see a specialist today.

Coyle sympathised with the 20-year-old he signed from Real Madrid in summer 2010 for £2.2million.

“The kid was outstanding, as he was on Saturday,” said the Wanderers boss of Alonso’s derby display. “I brought him to the club and I have high hopes for him.

“But you’ve got to credit Paul Robinson for coming in and showing his professionalism. He played his part when we had to stand up and be counted.”