Wilshere now major doubt for euro 2012


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The Independent Football

England's hopes of calling on Jack Wilshere at the European Championship receded yesterday, as Arsenal confirmed that the 20-year-old midfielder has a new stress fracture in his right foot.

Wilshere (below) has not played all season because of a stress fracture in his right ankle, on which he had surgery in September. He started running again in December but had a setback last week.

Arsenal said last night: "The injury [a new stress fracture] is in a different area to his previous surgery, and it will be reassessed in around two weeks' time by our medical team and experts who have worked together throughout Jack's recovery."

The Arsenal manager, Arsène Wenger, believes that it takes at least six weeks from the resumption of training to reach match fitness. "From day one, when you are completely fit to practise again," the manager said, "to be match-fit you count at least six weeks."

So, even in the best-case scenario of Wilshere's ankle passing its medical in two weeks, he would be unable to play until early April. Any longer delay in getting back into training would further diminish his playing time for Arsenal before Euro 2012.

"I don't want to put any time scale on it," Wilshere wrote on Twitter last night, "as I do not know how long it will take."