Jack Wilshere has not played a single game for Arsenal this season as they mount a serious title challenge for the first time in 12 years.
But it appears he even faces a longer time away from the game which could also put his place in England’s Euro 2016 squad in jeopardy after Gunners boss Arsene Wenger confirmed that the 24-year-old midfielder needs ‘six extra weeks’ to regain ‘fitness and stamina’.
It is understood Arsenal medical team are taking a cautious approach to Wilshere’s rehabilitation given his injury record and want to ensure he isn’t rushed back.
He has resumed outdoor training at the club’s London Colney, mainly consisting of running work.
The prognosis means the Gunners academy graduate will only return to action by mid-March as he continues to recover from the belligerent ankle problem which has denied him a total of 110 weeks playing time in the past seven years at the Emirates Stadium.
“Jack is starting to run. Once you move out, from the first day you count six weeks to be competitive and build up stamina and intensity,” Wenger confirmed.
“You need six weeks to be ready fitness-wise.”
Arsenal face Burnley in the Emirates FA Cup fourth round on Saturday.