• Premier League

Wilshere returns with Arsenal U21s

ESPN staff
October 1, 2012

Jack Wilshere successfully played over an hour for Arsenal's Under-21 side on Monday, as the midfielder completed another stage of his long recovery from injury.

Wilshere, out of the game for over 14 months with an ankle injury that has taken longer than expected to clear up, played 63 minutes for the Gunners' reserve side against West Brom at The Hawthorns.

There was a brief moment of panic when the England international came over to the sideline after 49 minutes for treatment after taking a slight knock, but he rejoined the contest shortly afterwards - before eventually being replaced by Kristoffer Olsson.

"It's another important step," Wenger said on Friday, when asked about Wilshere's return to action. "It is fantastic for him, especially when you are out for such a long time."

The 20-year-old last appeared in a competitive fixture last June, as he picked up a knock in England's 2-2 draw with Switzerland at Wembley.

Arsenal always planned for Wilshere to play just an hour on his first foray back into 'competitive' action. Wenger is hopeful the midfielder will be available for first-team selection by the end of October.

Emmanuel Frimpong also played in the match, as he continued his own recovery after suffering a cruciate ligament injury while on loan at Wolves last season.

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