Arsene Wenger does not know when Jack Wilshere will be back for Arsenal, raising serious doubts about the injury-plagued England midfielder’s availability for Euro 2016.
This season, like so many before, has proved frustrating for the 23-year-old, with injury once again stunting his progress.
A fractured fibula sustained towards the end of pre-season has proved the latest setback and a slow healing response led to surgery in September.
However, the estimated three-month lay-off has now come and gone, with Wenger conceding there is now no chance of Wilshere returning before February.
“I said February but honestly I don’t know,” the Arsenal boss said when pushed on the timescale.
“I let him do his recovery. It’s going slowly. Once he goes again, goes outside to train, once he is back again into sharp, hard work physically, you count five or six weeks, so at the moment he is not there yet.”
The news is a blow for England ahead of Euro 2016 and Arsenal, who have a hectic festive schedule.
“I believe what I say to my players is between my players and myself,” Wenger said.
“These players have fantastic spirit and they can show that in 48 hours.
“We are in a job where we have to respond. We want to respond from disappointments.