Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has revealed that midfielder Jack Wilshere is two weeks ahead of schedule in his bid to recover from injury, the club’s official website reports.
The England international has been out of action since November after picking up an ankle ligament injury following a heavy tackle from Paddy McNair in the 2-1 home loss to Manchester United.
Initial reports suggested he would be ruled out for at least four months, missing a number of key matches including the first-leg of the Gunners’ Champions League clash with Monaco.
However, rehabilitation seems to have gone so well that Wilshere was considered for a place on bench on Sunday during the North Londoners’ 2-0 FA Cup win over Middlesbrough.
“He’s two weeks ahead of schedule. I had a hesitation to put him on the bench today but I thought I wanted him to have one more week of training at least,” Wenger told Arsenal.com.
Before his injury, Wilshere was a regular in the Gunners’ first-team XI, starting seven Premier League matches with his best display coming in the early season 2-2 draw at home to Manchester City.
The 23-year-old’s return from injury comes at an important stage of the campaign as matches in the Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup come thick and fast.
In Wilshere’s place, Francis Coquelin, Tomas Rosicky, Aaron Ramsey, Santi Cazorla and Mathieu Flamini have been rotated as Wenger bids to keep his squad fresh.