• Premier League

Wilshere remains sidelined for Arsenal

ESPN staff
March 28, 2013
Arsenal are without Wilshere and Walcott for this weekend's game with Reading

Arsene Wenger has a number of injury concerns ahead of Arsenal's clash with Reading, with Jack Wilshere's problem worse than initially feared.

Wilshere, who missed 17 months with an ankle problem a couple of years ago, has been struck down by a heel problem, but the club said last week that they expected the England international to be back for the clash with the Royals.

However, it would appear the problem is more sinister than the club had initially envisaged and he faces at least another fortnight on the sidelines.

"Wilshere will still be out," Wenger said at his press conference on Thursday. "Honestly, it is very difficult to say [when he will be back] - maybe in two weeks.

"It is an inflammation of his bone, and we have such history with him so we are a bit more cautious.

"We have deferred his rehab by one week. We gave him one more week rest because it was wise medically to do it.

"We will rest him when it is needed. He knows he has to take care of his future. He is a very young player, he accepts it."

The earlier ankle problem that kept Wilshere out of action for 17 months saw Wenger talk of several possible return dates before he finally made a comeback.

However, there are no suggestions that surgery will be required on the latest injury, and the manager said he would have no problem with Wilshere being called up to play for England in friendlies this summer if he regained full fitness.

"He doesn't need any special treatment," he said. "You just have to be cautious with the inflammations of his ankle at times. He has been out for 17 months, so he wants to play. I understand that.

"If he is selected [to play for England this summer], he will go. It depends what kind of shape he will be in. If he has no problems, why not?"

Wenger went on to suggest that the pressure on Wilshere to boost the England team was unreasonable, saying: "A country doesn't depend on one player, no matter how good he is.

"Jack is a fantastic player, but it would be too much pressure on him to say England's future depends on him."

The Gunners boss has other concerns, with Theo Walcott out with the injury he picked up on international duty, while Abou Diaby and Kieron Gibbs are doubts.

Wenger said: "Walcott is out because he was injured with England; Gibbs is sick and I don't know if he will be involved or not. Diaby has a little problem.

"All the other players we will have to see."

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