Darren Bent admits he is fearful about West Ham midfielder Jack Wilshere returning to competitive action despite a positive training update from David Moyes.
The former Tottenham and Anton Villa striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, insists that the demands of a matchday are completely different to those on the training pitch.
As quoted by the Evening Standard, Moyes revealed that the 28-year-old had “trained every day” and not missed a single session or warm-up game ahead of their season restarting.
Wilshere started Saturday’s 2-0 defeat to Wolves on the substitutes’ bench – his first inclusion in a matchday squad since October – but was left unused by his manager.
Having seen his former England teammate break down with injuries time and again through his career, Bent admits he is fearful over the former Arsenal man returning to action.
“My only concern about Jack is that, when you’ve been injured for a while and you do all the training, all the sprint tests and everything, that’s not the problem because it’s training,” Bent told Football Insider.
“You can be coasting in training and if you’re running in straight lines, you know what you’ve got to do, you can feel your way into it. When unexpected things are thrown at you, like in a game when you’re running in one direction and then suddenly the ball changes and you’ve got to change, that’s when problems arise.
“That’s why a lot of players keep breaking down because the intensity in training is completely different. If they tell you to sprint from A to B, anyone can do that – A to B to C, anyone can do that but it’s when things crop up.”
Wilshere has not played a minute of competitive football since a 27-minute appearance from the bench back in October.
He has just eight appearances under his belt this season, with a hernia problem keeping him out of action.