REUTERS – Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere has said he will not rush back to first-team action as he prepares to return from a fractured fibula sustained during the club’s pre-season training.
Wilshere, who is expected to return mid-December, last played a competitive game for the Gunners in the FA Cup final win over Aston Villa on May 30.
Having made his Arsenal debut aged 16, the injury-plagued 23-year-old has only once played more than 25 Premier League games in a season.
Injuries have also badly affected Wilshere’s international career, having restricted him to just 28 appearances since his 2010 debut.
Wilshere is known for his combination of creative passing and solid defending, however, it is that tenacity in the tackle, that has often caused problems, resulting in a series of ankle injuries.
“It’s going well. I’m working as hard as I can to try to come back. I know what it takes because unfortunately I’ve been injured a few times in my career and I know what it takes to come back,” Wilshere told the club website (www.arsenal.com).
“I’m not going to rush it. I’ll make sure my body’s right and at the moment I’m feeling good.”
The worst period in the midfielder’s career was four years ago, when he missed the whole of the 2011-12 season, including Euro 2012, with a stress fracture of the ankle.
However, the England international has his sights set on the Euros in France next summer and says his latest injury setback was the hardest to stomach.
“Mentally this one has been the toughest to take because I had a big injury last year, came back, got myself fit, back in good form, played for England,” said Wilshere, who is yet to make an appearance this campaign.
“Then I cut my holiday short for two weeks and came in to try to get myself right for this season.
“I thought, ‘This season I need to be fit for the whole season and go into the Euros with a whole season behind me’. Unfortunately on the last day of pre-season I got injured so it was probably the toughest one for me to take,” he added.
Arsenal, who are behind leaders Manchester City on goal difference in the league table, travel to 13th placed West Bromwich Albion when the league resumes on Saturday after the international break.
(Reporting by Shravanth Vijayakumar in Bengaluru; editing by Amlan Chakraborty)