Jack Wilshere was back in full training this week for the first time in over a year and Arsene Wenger admits there were times when the England international was down on confidence and would begin to doubt his ability to make a complete recovery. Wenger was quoted as saying:
“When you are so young and out for 14 months that is a good test for your mental strength. Jack had ups and downs, and many downs because he had a few setbacks, but he dealt with it very well, especially in the last three months he was highly focused every day. I refused to give up, because he is a 19-year-old boy, so I always thought he would come back.’
“I am not medically expert enough to know how big the damage was in his ankle. It never crossed my mind. Has it crossed his mind? Only he can answer that – I think, yes.”
Wenger has been impressed with Wilshere’s return to fitness and has praised the England International on his determination.
“He has been absolutely brilliant because he had not only ankle surgery but when he thought that was over he had knee surgery. He handled that very well, I must say,” Wenger added.
“Jack, though, has always been with a good level of confidence. I believe what he has gone through will make him even stronger. He was in every day very early and worked all day through. He is rewarded now with a good condition.”
When asked whether Wilshere will play soon Wenger commented, “We will have to be a bit patient, a bit cautious, because when a guy has been out or 14 months it takes a while to get back to match fitness. Jack is fit to practice and play but to put high-level performances in takes time. He will need a few games in the reserves.”
Le Prof is then well aware that Wilshere will need time to recover fully and the Arsenal manager isn’t prepared to take any chances with the England International just yet. Once fully fit, Wilshere is expected to return to the first team but may have to prove his worth if he’s to simply replace Diaby who’s been in good form this season.
A few games in the reserves will help him get fitter and sharpen up his skills again, He will not be available for England, fortunately, in the next international break. Roy Hodgson is desperate for a player of Wilshere’s talent but could be tempted to throw him in too soon.