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Friday, September 21, 2012
Wenger won't rush Wilshere back

Kevin Palmer

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has revealed he will not consider rushing Jack Wilshere back into his first team until he has had "at least ten full days of training", as he makes his long-awaited return from injury.

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Wilshere, 20, returned to full training with Arsenal on Thursday and is edging closer to making his first start after months of agonising treatment and recovery from an ankle, knee and foot injuries.

However, the Arsenal manager is fearful of throwing his midfield maestro straight into the action after a 14-month lay-off, that he admits has tested the resolve of Wilshere to breaking point.

"Jack has had some ups and downs, many downs I have to say because he has had several setbacks with his injury in the last 14 months," Wenger said. "I never gave up on Jack coming back. He is a 19-year-old boy and it never crossed my mind that he would not make it back. Has it crossed his mind that he would not come back? Maybe.

"It has been a great mental test for a young guy to be out for so long and to try and maintain his focus, but Jack has done so well. He has been into training early every morning for the last three months and he has been so focused.

"What we have to be careful of is bringing Jack back too quickly. When you have been out for so long, it takes time to get match fitness and we will be careful with that. My hope is what Jack has been through will make him stronger for the future."

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