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Wilshere set for Gunners return

England international Jack Wilshere is set to feature in the Arsenal squad for the first time in over a year at Norwich this evening.

Wilshere (20) has been out for 14 months with niggling ankle and knee injuries, but came through another run-out in midweek as his rehabilitation moves up a gear.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger told journalists in his pre-match media conference yesterday the midfielder would most likely play in another U21 game against Everton next week, and then come into contention for the League Cup tie at Reading on October 30.

However, Wilshere's agent Simon Bayliff yesterday said the midfielder would be making the trip to Norfolk for the early evening kick-off.

He wrote on Twitter: "It's been two "good news" days in a row. Doesn't happen very often. Jack travels to Norwich in the £AFC 1st team squad! Delighted."

Wenger had earlier urged caution over Wilshere's return.

England U21 coach Stuart Pearce would like to take Wilshere to the European U21 Championship in Israel next summer for some valuable tournament experience, having seen his plans to include the player for the last edition of the tournament shelved because of fears over burn-out.

Wenger, though, insisted the midfielder must take things one step at a time. "I believe at the moment (talk of playing in the European Championship) is a bit premature. Let's wait until Jack comes back. He has not played in the first team for 14 months," said Wenger.


"Do you know what that is like, 14 months out of competition? Jack works very hard, he is doing well, but let's not go too far." Wenger added: "There are two aspects. One is the apprehension to go into challenges when you have too many injuries, on that front we are at 100 per cent. We even have to calm him down. He goes for every challenge and has no apprehension.

"Then you have the physical front -- he is okay there, then you have the match fitness which is 80 per cent.

"He needs one more game, maybe Monday night with the reserves, then he should be back."