EXCLUSIVE: Wilshere in race to be fit for England after being ruled out of Arsenal's showdown with Bayern
22:25 GMT, 11 March 2013
00:09 GMT, 12 March 2013
Jack Wilshere could miss England’s crucial World Cup qualifying double header against San Marino and Montenegro.
Arsenal’s brilliant midfielder is out of Wednesday’s Champions League trip to Bayern Munich after failing to recover from the ankle injury he collected in the 2-1 defeat by Spurs nine days ago.
He will be left behind when the team flies to Bavaria today, and is not expected to recover in time for Saturday’s vital trip to Swansea.
Injury doubt: Jack Wilshere is in a race to be fit for England's trips to San Marino and Montenegro
Blow: Jack Wilshere is set to miss Arsenal's Champions League clash with Bayern Munich through injury
That puts England boss Roy Hodgson on a collision course with Gunners manager Arsene Wenger yet again over picking the 21-year-old for his country.
Hodgson names his squad on Thursday, and will want Wilshere in his side after his talismanic performance in last month’s friendly against Brazil – especially for the must-win trip to face Group H leaders Montenegro.
But Wenger, who sent the player on a mid-season break to Dubai to aid his recovery, will fear that he could break down on international duty and miss his club’s critical fight to retain their Champions League status for another season.
The Arsenal manager was angry last month that his star player was on the field for the full 90 minutes against Brazil at Wembley, when he believed he had an agreement that he would not play the entire game.
He also clashed with Hodgson in November over his selection for the squad for a friendly against Sweden when he had only just recovered from an injury sustained on Arsenal’s pre-season trip to America.
And England Under 21 coach Stuart Pearce also bowed to pressure from the Gunners to leave him out of his squad for last summer’s tournament.
Wenger has other injury problems as his side got to Munich searching for a way to overturn their 3-1 deficit from the first leg.
Bacary Sagna is out after failing to recover from a knee problem and is also a major doubt for Saturday’s trip to The Liberty Stadium.
Setback: Wilshere could be out for a few weeks
It will leave the Gunners being forced to rush back Kieran Gibbs who has missed six weeks with a thigh injury.
With Nacho Monreal cup tied, Sagna's injury leaves Wenger short of defensive options for the clash against Jupp Heynckes men.
If the Gunners decide not to risk Gibbs, they are likely to line-up with a back-four of Carl Jenkinson, Per Mertesacker, Laurent Koscielny and Thomas Vermaelen, the club's only available recognised defenders for the clash at the Allianz Arena.
However, the Gunners have been boosted by news that Bayern forward Franck Ribery will miss the second leg with an ankle injury.
Influential midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger and defender Jerome Boateng are suspended.
Crisis: Bacary Sagna is set to miss the last-16 clash after failing to recover from a knee problem