The Football Association heard the news they were dreading last night as Arsene Wenger definitively ruled a "devastated" Jack Wilshere out of the European Championship. Wilshere has not played all season after an ankle surgery.
"Jack Wilshere will not play again this season and will not go to the Euros, that is for sure," Wenger said after last night's game. "He is not ready to practice today or next week. He makes progress, but slow progress. What is for sure is he will not be ready for the end of the season and not for the Euros. We had a chat about it this week."
Wenger also confirmed that Wilshere would not be able to play in the Olympics either. "The Olympics would be the worst idea for him," Wenger said. "When a guy has not played for a year, he needs a good preparation and a slow preparation after to start the season. Once he is fit, he can think about the national team as well."
Posting on Twitter, Wilshere confirmed the news and described himself as "gutted, sad, devastated". and said that the season has "been a test mentally for me" and that "it will continue to be tough until I am back out on the pitch".
Wilshere first felt the injury after England's 2-2 draw with Switzerland on 4 June 2011, in a Euro 2012 qualifier, his fourth start for England. It was left to heal last summer, and Wilshere only made brief appearances in pre-season friendlies. He played the first half against Boca Juniors on 30 July last year, before making his last club appearance against New York Red Bulls the following day: he played just seven minutes before being withdrawn for Benik Afobe.
With the injury not healing, Wilshere had an operation to insert a screw to repair the stress fracture in his right ankle on 26 September 2011. " This crack in the bone became worse and worse," Wenger explained days after the surgery. "People say to me it didn't heal because there is no blood supply so it doesn't glue together any more. We had to put a screw in. When you see the scan it looks like a little hole in the bone. We needed to screw that together because it would not heal."
Wenger said at the time that the prognosis was "better than expected" and predicted that he would start rehabilitation after Christmas and return to football in early March, and said that there were "no worries" concerning his participation in Poland and Ukraine.
The young midfielder did start running in December but sustained a setback in late January of this year, suffering a second stress fracture on the same right ankle, but this time in his heel. " It is not in the same area as my first injury which has healed very well which I am happy about," Wilshere wrote on Twitter at the time. Wenger explained that "the repetition of the impact on the ankle was too much."
Wilshere returned to light training last month, and just over three weeks ago Wenger said that, if his rehabilitation continued well, he could return to full training by mid-April and might be fit again by the end of the month.
"I think he will play this season if he has no setbacks now," Wenger said on 23 March. "His last scan was positive, he should be capable to play. The next three weeks will decide how well he progresses ." But having not made the expected progress, Wilshere will have to wait until next season to return to football.
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