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Thursday, December 27, 2012
Injury nightmare to benefit Wilshere

ESPN staff

Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere says he has taken a macro look at his injury nightmare and believes that the 14 months he spent on the sidelines may benefit him in the long run.

• Wilshere never doubted character

Wilshere, who has recently signed a new contract with the Gunners, missed the opportunity to play for England at Euro 2012 because of long-running ankle and knee injuries but missing out on the international stage was only half of his pain.

The 20-year-old attended every Arsenal home game while he was injured and one regret from that time was only being able to watch when Thierry Henry returned to the club last season.

But having been fast-tracked into Arsene Wenger's first team at a young age, Wilshere admits he was probably in need of a break and he hopes the enforced rest could prolong his career.

"I was at the Emirates for every single home match," Wilshere told Arsenal's website. "It was hard at times, because I really wanted to be out there. Not just for my own selfish reasons but I wanted to help the team too because we had some difficult periods last season.

"There were a few moments [that were hard to take]. When Thierry came back in January for example. He's a legend and I really wanted to play in the same team as him. I also would have loved to play in that north London derby in February.

"When I look back now though, I could probably have done with a break, having played so much the previous season.

"Obviously I didn't want the break to be so long, in fact I didn't want to have a break at all, but if I look back on this in 10 years' time, it might have done me some good in the long run."

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