By Arsenal correspondent Tony Hughes
Jack Wilshere has revealed his current absence has been the toughest to cope with in his injury-plagued career.
The Arsenal midfielder says he is “feeling good” as he steps up his rehabilitation two months after undergoing surgery on his fractured left fibula.
But the 23-year-old lifted the lid on the mental anguish of another lengthy spell on the sidelines.
“Mentally this one has been the toughest to take because I had a big injury last year, came back, got myself fit, back in good form, played for England,” explained Wilshere. “Then I cut my holiday short for two weeks and came in to try to get myself right for this season.
“I thought, ‘This season I need to be fit for the whole season and go into the Euros with a whole season behind me’. Unfortunately on the last day of pre-season I got injured so it was probably the toughest one for me to take.”
Wilshere, who has not played in the 2015-16 season after suffering a hairline fracture in training shortly before Arsenal’s Community Shield win over Chelsea, has had to learn the value of patience.
“I’m working as hard as I can to try to come back,” he told the Arsenal website. “It’s going well. I know what it takes because unfortunately I’ve been injured a few times in my career and I know what it takes to come back.
“I’m not going to rush it. I’ll make sure my body’s right and at the moment I’m feeling good.
“At the moment it’s me, Danny [Welbeck] and Tomas [Rosicky] because we’re the only ones with long-term injuries. Just being around other people, speaking to them and having a bit of banter with them helps as well.
“We’re still early in the season and the busiest part of the season is coming up. I want to be part of this team and I proved last season that I can get back and fight for a place. I know it’s not going to be easy but that’s what I want to do.”
The midfielder, who missed five months of last season after undergoing surgery for ankle ligament damage, once again went under the knife in September and was advised that he would be ruled out for at least three months, sidelining him until after Christmas.