Arsene Wenger has revealed he still remains cautious over Jack Wilshere’s recovery and is set to unleash him for the reserves side next week, he could also be joined by the recovering Bacary Sagna.
Since the Englishman has spent 14 months without playing a first team fixture his rehabilitation is a slow process. Wenger revealed he has been working hard in training as his return to action beckons, but the Frenchman is resisting using him despite the absence of Diaby.
Wenger explained ahead of Arsenal’s fixture against West Ham:
Jack is doing very well but we need to be a bit patient. He has played 60 minutes in the reserve team and he needs a few games, progressive build-up to get his body used again to competition, to shocks, to fights.
But he is doing extremely well, the situation looks very good. We have to be cautious, not crazy, because of his talent you are always pushed in a situation where you would like to rush him back, and we have to resist that.
The next match should be next week and he is working very very hard [in training]. The body is like that, when you have been out of competition for 14 months it takes a long time to find your sharpness back. You cannot rush it.
Hopefully Wilshere will be ready for first team action after the international break in two weeks to strengthen Wenger’s midfield further and complete his comeback.
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The media have speculated that he should receive an England callup for their World Cup Qualifiers next week, but luckily Wenger will hold firm as he continues his cautious approach to mending his prodigy.
So his next step is another runout for the U21 side in the new reserve league format next week, and he will likely be joined by Sagna who edges closer to a first team return after recovering from his broken leg.
Wenger also stated:
Maybe he will play on Monday night [for the under-21s]. He needs some games because he has not played for five months. He has been in training for a week now so he should be capable of playing for an hour
The return of Sagna will be a big boost. Jenkinson overall has played well and he has shown he is good enough to be the second choice wing back, but he often fails to be in the correct position defensively which has left the Gunners exposed at times. This will be something he will improve on with experience, and he has certainly developed vastly from last season.
Overall Arsenal’s squad is looking strong and healthy which is important for Wenger to have the ability to rotate in certain positions to maintain freshness. With the return of Wilshere, Sagna and Rosicky the Gunners are going to be a major force this season.
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Other team news:
[on Per Mertesacker] He is better. He came in on Thursday and had a little session. He’ll have a test. It is not certain that he will play.
[on the sickness that has affected the team] It is flu that has travelled from body to body. We have had Coquelin, Vermaelen, Walcott out. But nobody else has it at the moment.
[on other team news] There is nothing else. Wojciech and Fabianski are not back so Martinez will be back in the squad as the second goalkeeper.
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