Jack Wilshere has been ruled out of action for six weeks after suffering a hairline fracture in his left foot during England’s 1-0 victory over Denmark at Wembley on Wednesday, Arsenal have confirmed.
The midfielder picked up the injury in the 12th minute when he went into a challenge with Liverpool and Denmark defender Daniel Agger, leaving the Arsenal midfielder writhing in pain as he lay left in a heap on the turf, screaming and visibly in tears.
However, after a long period of treatment and hobbling to the sidelines, Wilshere returned to the field of play and continued for the Three Lions. He even emerged from the tunnel for the second half, and was not replaced by manager Roy Hodgson until the 58th minute when Adam Lallana was brought on.
Wilshere originally claimed that the injury was only bruising, but scans carried out by the FA have confirmed a hairline fracture to the navicular bone in his left foot. It is an area of his foot that he has not injured before, having had chronic problems with his ankles in the past that has kept him out for long periods.
As a result, he will require a period of six weeks’ rehabilitation before he can begin working back towards full fitness, and the news is a massive blow not just to Arsenal’s Premier League ambitions, but also Hodgson’s plans for the World Cup which begins in June.
Hodgson did stress that they took off Wilshere with the Gunners early kick-off on Saturday in mind, when they take on Everton in the FA Cup for a place in the semi-finals, as well as their Champions League last-16 second leg which comes in quick succession on Tuesday.
A six-week spell on the sidelines would see the 22-year-old return around April 17, which would leave him five Premier League matches to prove his fitness to Hodgson an merit inclusion in his 23-man England squad to compete at the 2014 Brazil World Cup.
Wilshere spoke confidently that he hadn't suffered a long-term injury following the match, but that isn't the case as he now faces a race to be fit for the World Cup.
"It is a bit sore, but just a bruise," Wilshere said shortly after the match. "I have had a scan already and I will be all right.
"We have all been working hard in training trying to impress the manager, but at the end of the day, it is your club form which will get you in.
"These next two months are crucial, it is a big time of the season and then when the England squad is announced, you can only perform to the best of your ability."
Hodgson initially admitted he was "delighted" that Wilshere was able to get up and continue, claiming that it is not his wish for players to return to their clubs injured - he has already lost Wilshere's Arsenal team-mate Theo Walcott after he ruptured an anterior cruciate ligament in the FA Cup victory over Tottenham.
"The last thing I want is to send players back injured especially when Arsenal have so many important games coming up, so we were delighted when he got up and we were told it was just a kick on the foot," the England manager said.
"I am hoping that when he goes back to Arsenal they will soon put that right and that he will be fit for Saturday."
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