Wilshere returned to Arsenal’s senior first team in January this year after spending 17 months sidelined with knee and ankle injuries. The 21-year-old had screws inserted into his ankle after suffering a fracture in 2011 and could now require further surgery this summer after suffering another setback with the same ankle.
"The news is it's not too bad, he's just getting a bit of pain in his ankle from a few screws. If you bounce back from what he did you can bounce back from anything,” revealed the Englishman’s teammate Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Quite why Wilshere’s 19-year-old Arsenal and England teammate has been given the authority to comment on a serious ‘career threatening injury’ as previously describes by the Gunners’ manager is beyond me.
Nonetheless, it would seem as though further medical procedures will likely be required over the summer, despite Wilshere’s return to the substitute bench at the weekend.
Whether Wilshere’s ankle injury will prove to be of serious consequence as his career unfolds remains to be seen. Wilshere exceptional talent and position often earns him comparisons with England captain Steven Gerrard and, in terms of early onset of injury, comparisons are also apt.
Gerrard suffered a number of injuries and strains in his late teens and early twenties with Liverpool – something outlined recently by the imminently retiring Michael Owen and, in effect, it meant that Gerrard didn’t burnout through perpetual top-level competition in the way that Owen did as a young professional.
Perhaps, in some backhanded way, Wilshere’s early onset of injuries will end up prolonging his career ultimately – Michael Owen made 56 appearances between Liverpool and England in the 1997/98 season aged just 18.
By the time he was Wilshere’s age, he’d made 140 senior appearances for club and country compared to Gerrard’s 102. Owen has outlined his intention to retire from football at the end of this season aged just 33.
This term Steven Gerrard has had another superb season for the Reds and led his country admirably at the age of 32 with no end in sight.
Whilst the case of Michael Owen serves as a warning to those charged responsible for Jack Wilshere, the case of Steven Gerrard perhaps offers optimism amidst the gloom for Jack Wilshere.
image: © Ronnie Macdonald