Before confirming this morning that he would indeed be out injured for at least another two months with a persistent ankle problem, Jack Wilshere spoke yesterday to Absolute Radio about his rehabilitation.
The England midfielder was last seen trudging from the Emirates pitch after only 5 minutes of a friendly against the New York Red Bulls and has yet to feature in any competitive action since.
Chatting to former Arsenal striker Ian Wright on the Rock ‘n’ Roll Football show, Wilshere revealed how he would be approaching his recovery after consultation with the medical team at London Colney:
“They’re not pushing me at all to be fair. I spoke to the manager, he just said to me to take my time and come back when I’m ready because there is no point coming back and then having another six weeks out. I’m just taking my time and getting ready.
“It’s massively frustrating. Having had a successful season last year, it’s even more frustrating. This year I really felt I could push on, but I’ve had a bit of a setback but I’m still feeling good about the season. Hopefully I’ll be back as soon as possible.”
One player who looks likely to help cover in the absence of Wilshere is new signing Mikel Arteta. Having already spoken openly of his admiration for the Spaniard on Twitter, the youngster added:
“He’s a great player. I played against him when I was on loan at Bolton and he was the best player on the pitch.
“At the Emirates [last season] he was one of the best players on the pitch, he’s one of the best in the Premier League that I’ve played against and a good addition to the squad.”
With Andre Santos, Per Mertesacker, Chu Young Park, Yossi Benayoun and the aforementioned Arteta all over the age of 26, Wilshere also made clear that the added experience would be useful in aiding the future development of other Arsenal’s Academy graduates.
“Everyone says that Arsenal are a really young team, but now we’ve got Arteta who I think is 29, Benayoun is a bit younger [he’s actually 31] but still they’re older players and that is what we needed.
“When Cesc was coming through there was Vieira, so hopefully now we [the young players] can really push on.”