At last! Wilshere returns to full Arsenal training after 14 months on sidelines
14:22 GMT, 20 September 2012
Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere has handed Arsene Wenger a massive boost by joining his team-mates for training.
The 20-year-old has been plagued by ankle, foot and knee problems and has not played since July 2011.
But, as revealed by Sportsmail earlier this week, the England player has now stepped up his recovery by taking a full part in training.
All smiles: Jack Wilshere (centre) joins Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain for Arsenal
Wilshere's agent tweeted: 'Delighted to say that Jack Wilshere was back in full 1st team training today.
'Understandably he is a very excited young man today.'
Wenger told the official Arsenal website: 'We are so pleased that Jack is back in full training. It’s been 14 months and that’s a long time for someone at his age. It’s an eternity, but it’s great news.
'We have to give him a few training sessions to see how he copes and responds to it. That’s the delicate, sensitive stage – to choose when to bring him in and out. We’ll have to handle that day-by-day.
'We also have Emmanuel Frimpong who has returned to full training this week, which is great news as well. Emmanuel has also been out a long time, but is progressing well.'
Wenger could now play Wilshere in either a specially arranged, training ground
friendly or the Gunners Under 21 side's fixture against West Bromwich
on October 1 or Reading seven days later as the club look to give him
much-needed game time.
On the ball: Wilshere has been sidelined since July 2011 with a serious of injuries
Despite Wilshere's promising progress, his manager will continue to take a cautious approach towards the return of his influential midfielder.
The youngster has been pencilled in for a return to first-team action towards the end of next month and the club seem determined to resist any temptation to rush Wilshere back before then.
Even though Alex Song left for Barcelona, Wenger still has an abundance of central-midfield options with Santi Cazorla, Mikel Arteta, Abou Diaby, Aaron Ramsey and Francis Coquelin all vying for first-team starts.
Tired already Wilshere will be eased back into the Arsenal team gently after his injuries
The club's once lengthy injury list is now starting to clear up, with Tomas Rosicky, Emmanuel Frimpong and Bacary Sagna – in addition to Wilshere – all close to first-team returns.
Frimpong, who has been sidelined since February with a cruciate ligament injury sustained while on loan to Wolves, has also returned to training.
Back in the game: Emmanuel Frimpong (left) also returned to training after a cruciate ligament injury