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Premier League

Jack Wilshere in Arsenal squad for tomorrow's match against Norwich


Jack Wilshere's long awaited return to competitive action could be over as soon as tomorrow after his agent revealed that the midfielder would be in the Arsenal squad for the match against Norwich.

The England international has been stepping up his recovery from a serious ankle injury over recent weeks and on Wednesday played 90 minutes in a specially arranged match against Chelsea at Arsenal's training ground in Hertfordshire.

That followed two appearances for Arsenal's under-21 side in which he managed 63 minutes and then 74.

It was thought Wilshere would return at the end of the month, with the Capital One Cup tie against Reading on the 30th pencilled in.

However, it appears he could play a part tomorrow when Arsenal travel to Carrow Road after his agent Simon Bayliff tweeted that he was in the squad for the match.

Bayliff tweeted: "It's been two "good news" days in a row. Doesn't happen very often. Jack travels to Norwich in the #AFC 1st team squad! Delighted."

Speaking earlier today, Wenger said Wilshere was mentally ready to return, although physically he is not quite there.

"There are two aspects," said Wenger. "One is the apprehension to go into challenges when you have too many injuries, on that front we are at 100 per cent. We even have to calm him down. He goes for every challenge and has no apprehension.

"Then you have the physical front - he is okay there, then you have the match fitness which is 80 per cent."

Wenger made no mention of Wilshere's involvement in tomorrow's match, suggesting that his next game would in fact be against Everton in a reserves game on Monday.

"He needs one more game, maybe Monday night with the reserves, then he should be back," he said.

Wenger also commented on Stuart Pearce's wish for Wilshere to take part in next summer's under-21 European Championships in order for the midfielder to gain some international experience.

"I believe at the moment that is a bit premature. Let's wait until Jack comes back. He has not played in the first team for 14 months," said Wenger.

"Do you know what that is like, 14 months out of competition? Jack works very hard, he is doing well, but let's not go too far."

The televised Premier League match against Norwich kicks off at 5.30pm.