Arsenal deny report that Jack Wilshere is out for the season
Goal.com claims Gunners are resigned to losing midfield star until mid-May - but club refutes it
ARESENAL do not expect Jack Wilshere to play for the club again this season. According to an exclusive report by the respected football website Goal.com, the Gunners have resigned themselves to being without the 21-year-old midfielder for the rest of the season after Wilshere suffered a recurrence of the ankle injury that sidelined him for the whole of the 2011-12 season.
Initially the north London club claimed that Wilshere would be out for six weeks after sustaining the setback in the defeat to Tottenham earlier in the month. But Goal.com claims "privately Arsenal do not expect their most influential player to feature again for club or country this season". The gloomy assessment follows Wilshere's visit to a specialist in Dubai last week and further examinations by medical staff in the UK.
Goal.com claims that Wilshere has been told that he must rest his ankle for a further six weeks, meaning the earliest he could return would be the second week of May. Though he could feasibly still play in Arsenal's last couple of Premier League fixtures against Wigan and Newcastle, it's highly unlikely that Arsene Wenger would risk throwing him back into the fray after a 12-week lay-off.
Goal.com says the news has left Wenger stunned, causing the Arsenal manager to give "mixed messages" last week about the state of his young playmaker's injury. Initially Wenger said that Wilshere had an inflamed left ankle, but later claimed it was a problem with both his ankles. In reality, according to Goal.com, it is a recurrence of the injury to Wilshere's right ankle, the one in which he suffered a stress fracture in the summer of 2011.
Arsenal were quick to deny the allegations, claiming that Wilshere is still on course to return to action again Reading on 30 March. "Nothing has changed in Jack's recovery, there's no setback or further damage to his ankle and no concern about any long-term problems," an Arsenal spokesperson told Talksport when asked about the rumours. "Jack was told to rest and we are still on course for him to resume training and be available for selection for the home game against Reading."
Since making his comeback for Arsenal on 27 October against QPR, Wilshere has been the Gunners' standout performer, at the heart of all their midfield creativity, which caused Wenger to risk playing him in practically every game as the club went in search of silverware. The gamble looks like it hasn't paid off, as Wenger acknowledged last week. "Maybe I overplayed him," reflected the Arsenal manager. "It's difficult to rest him because he's a winner."
But if Wilshere is indeed out for the rest of the season it could be Arsenal who end up the losers in their chase for fourth spot. ·