Wilshere was back in full training this week for the first time in over a year and Arsene Wenger admits there were times when the England international was down on confidence and would begin to doubt his ability to make a complete recovery. Wenger was quoted as saying:
“When you are so young and out for 14 months that is a good test for your mental strength. Jack had ups and downs, and many downs because he had a few setbacks, but he dealt with it very well, especially in the last three months he was highly focused every day. I refused to give up, because he is a 19-year-old boy, so I always thought he would come back.’
“I am not medically expert enough to know how big the damage was in his ankle. It never crossed my mind. Has it crossed his mind? Only he can answer that — I think, yes.”
Wenger has been impressed with Wilshere’s desire to return back to full fitness and is convinced that frame of mind and determination will put him in good stead once he begins to play again.
“He has been absolutely brilliant because he had not only ankle surgery but when he thought that was over he had knee surgery. He handled that very well, I must say,” Wenger said.
“Jack, though, has always been with a good level of confidence. I believe what he has gone through will make him even stronger. He was in every day very early and worked all day through. He is rewarded now with a good condition.”
Wenger is also well aware the Wilshere will need time to recover fully and the Arsenal manager isn’t prepared to take any chances with the England International just yet.
“We will have to be a bit patient, a bit cautious, because when a guy has been out or 14 months it takes a while to get back to match fitness. Jack is fit to practice and play but to put high-level performances in takes time. He will need a few games in the reserves.”
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