Jack Wilshere injury: Arsenal midfielder steps up recovery but refuses to set a comeback date from broken foot

Wilshere's midfield team-mate Aaron Ramsey is likely to return before the 22-year-old but Arsenal are hopeful Wilshere will be available for the final matches of the season

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The Independent Online

Jack Wilshere is stepping up his efforts to make a return to action before the end of the season as he continues his recovery from a broken foot suffered in the international friendly victory over Denmark earlier this month, but he is not setting a date for a potential comeback just yet.

The Arsenal midfielder fractured his foot in a tackle with Liverpool defender Daniel Agger at Wembley, and despite playing on for over 40 minutes, he was revealed to have suffered the injury that required him to wear a protective boot.

Having got the ok to remove the boot, Wilshere has begun training on a running machine and exercise bike in accordance with the club’s physios, and while he is yet to return to first team training, the Gunners remain cautiously optimistic of seeing the England international return before the end of the season.

Wenger: Scholes is wrong, Wilshere is exceptional

A comeback would not only boost Arsenal’s chances of finishing in the top-four – recent performances have suggested otherwise – but increase his own chances of playing a key role in England’s World Cup campaign in Brazil, with his participation put in to jeopardy with the latest injury.

 

Wilshere posted a picture of himself and team-mate Benik Afobe at a Drake concert on Wednesday, in which the 22-year-old appeared to be holding a pint of beer, but the club have not made an issue out of the matter and are believed to be relaxed over the trip to London’s O2 Arena.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger confirmed on Friday that Wilshere requires more time, and refused to elaborate on when a potential comeback could be pencilled in the diary, but it is thought that a return for the final three matches of the season could be possible providing his rehabilitation goes smoothly.

Wenger did reveal that Welsh midfielder Aaron Ramsey will be the first of Arsenal’s growing injury concerns to return to training, and he has not given up hope of making a return in time for the FA Cup semi-final against holders Wigan on April 12.

Ramsey suffered a second setback in his recovery from a thigh strain – “a muscular injury” as Wenger put it today – and has not featured since Boxing Day after picking up the injury in the 3-1 win over West Ham. Ramsey’s absence can be linked with Arsenal’s downturn in form, and with Mesut Ozil and Theo Walcott also ruled out long-term, the Gunners are visibly lacking a turn of pace in their side.

WENGER RESPONDS TO SCHOLES' ATTACK

Should the Wembley semi-final prove too soon for Ramsey, Wenger will be hoping to call on the midfield maestro for the season run-in, with Everton breathing down the Gunners’ neck in the race for fourth place.

But Wenger believes that if the Toffees can be linked with a charge for fourth, Arsenal can still catch the three sides in front of them – although the crunch fixture at Goodison Park on April 6 could go a long way in determining both of those scenarios.

“Everybody speaks about Everton coming back on us (to challenge for fourth place),” said Wenger. “Why should we then not come back on the teams who are in front of us?

“There’s still a lot of turning games that will happen until the end of the season. But it's down to the quality of our performances. We don't think about the title race now, we think about winning again and (this week's results) show you how small the differences are between the Premier League teams.”

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