Nineteen-year-old Arsenal and England midfielder Jack Wilshere faces at least five more months on the sidelines after undergoing ankle surgery to cure a stress fracture on Monday. He has yet to appear in a competitive game this season.
The surgery went off without a hitch, and the young star should be back in action in time for the back end of Arsenal’s season. A return sometime in late February or early March is not out of the question for Wilshere.
Wilshere originally suffered a stress fracture last June while playing for England in a Euro 2012 qualifier against Switzerland. He rested in the weeks that followed, only for the injury to flare up again during a July 31 preseason game against the New York Red Bulls. He lasted seven minutes before the pain forced him to leave the game.
The midfielder again rested the injury and attempted to rejoin the Arsenal team ahead of the opening weeks of the 2011-12 season, but the ankle did not respond to rest. He has been wearing a protective boot on the troubled joint for over a month, but surgery ultimately became necessary.
On Friday, Arsenal gave an update on Wilshere’s condition on its website. It said, “We have given Jack time to heal naturally which is important wherever possible with a young player.
“The latest scans show surgery is needed. Everyone at the club wishes Jack a speedy recovery.”
Wilshere also broke the news on twitter:
@JackWilshere: been in a boot for a month and the bone is not responding. i will have surgery on my right ankle on monday with the two best surgeons around.
After the surgery, the midfielder seemed upbeat in a twitter message to his followers:
@JackWilshere: Had my operation and all went well! I am feeling good will spend the night in hospital to monitor me but apart from that I am happy!
As an 18-year-old, Wilshere established himself in the Arsenal team during the 2010-11 season. He played 35 games for the club in all competitions. He also appeared six times for England and was close to sealing a place in coach Fabio Capello’s starting lineup.
The injury casts serious doubt on Wilshere’s participation in next summer’s European Championship. The player would need to regain his pre-injury form and fitness if he is to contend for a place in the England squad.
Photo courtesy of twitpic/JackWilshere
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