Jack Wilshere injury: Arsenal midfielder set to return in under-21s match in boost to Euro 2016 hopes

Wilshere has not played a minute of football this season after suffering a broken leg in pre-season

Jack Wilshere last played for England in June 2015
Jack Wilshere last played for England in June 2015

Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere is ready to step up his recovery from a broken leg by playing in his first match of the season next Friday in an effort to make a late bid to make the England squad for Euro 2016.

Wilshere has not played a competitive game since England’s 3-2 victory over Slovenia in June last year, having suffered a fractured fibula in pre-season. The 24-year-old has seen his possible return date repeatedly delayed – having initially been penned in to return in October – and the midfielder is running out of time to prove his fitness to England manager Roy Hogdson.

The Three Lions manager has made it clear that he will give Wilshere every chance to prove himself ahead of his Euro 2016 squad selection on 21 May, even though he is desperately short on match experience.

But in what could prove a major boost for Wilshere, Arsenal and England, he is set to make his return to action in Arsenal’s Under-21s in their U21 Premier League clash with Newcastle Under-21s.

Should Wilshere feature and come through the match unscathed, he could be in line to make a first team return in Arsenal’s Premier League visit of Crystal Palace on 17 April, although Arsene Wenger will be keen not to rush him given his extensive injury troubles throughout his career.

Hodgson admitted that he is likely to take two holding midfielders out of Wilshere, Eric Dier and Danny Drinkwater, and his claim that the Tottenham and Leicester stars remain “in Wilshere’s shadow” indicated that the England manager still holds the Arsenal star in high esteem. That though process is not a surprise given Wilshere enjoyed his best performance in an England shirt during that win over Slovenia that booked the national team’s place at the Euros, but his lack of any football this season has to be of major concern.

Wilshere's last played in the Emirates Cup in pre-season

Wilshere is believed to be confident that he will play for his club before their Premier League campaign draws to a close on 15 May, with Hodgson set to name his 23-man squad just six days’ later before their three Euro 2016 warm-up matches against Turkey, Australia and Portugal.

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