Jack Wilshere could be back in the Arsenal squad for Sunday’s visit to Sunderland but will likely not be included against West Bromwich Albion on Thursday, Arsene Wenger has said.
Wilshere has not made a competitive appearance this season after fracturing his ankle in August but he played his third game for Arsenal’s under-21s on Monday, scoring a goal and completing the full 90 minutes in a 2-1 loss at West Brom.
Wenger said he came through his latest test without any problems and should now be ready for a full return, although he will have to wait until the weekend.
“The positive is that he’s had no setbacks, and as well that in every game he was sharper,” Wenger said at his news conference on Wednesday.
“So that means he has a good fitness basis, and overall the progression now should be normal. Now he is available for selection, I don’t think for tomorrow, but from the next game on. Now it’s just ‘do I select him or not?’”
Santi Cazorla has also been back in full training this week, but Wenger did not give an indication of when the Spaniard might be ready to play again. He has been out since November with a knee injury.
Wilshere is hoping to get enough playing time to earn a spot in England’s European Championship squad, but will only have three games to do so if he returns on Sunday at Sunderland.
However, Wenger said that should be enough for the midfielder.
“Yes, because he has played now three games already,” he said. “The European Championship starts June 10, so there is still nearly two months. So if you look at his fitness at the moment, in two months he should be perfectly fit. If he has no setbacks, it should not be a gamble.”