Wilshere suffers injury setback

Wilshere suffered a setback in training on Monday during his

recovery from the ankle injury that was initially expected to rule

him out for one week but now looks certain to sideline him for a

minimum of six. The midfielder’s absence would be a big blow to

England manager Fabio Capello, who is already without Steven

Gerrard for the crucial qualifiers away to Bulgaria on September 2

and at home to Wales four days later. It is also more bad news for

beleaguered Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, who said: “No chance he

will be fit for England. “It’s not ideal for us on the day we sell

(Samir) Nasri.” He added on Tuesday night: “I don’t know if we are

back to square one or for how long he will be out. “He’s in a

(protective) boot again, so that means he will at least be out for

two or three weeks.” Wenger claimed Wilshere’s problems dated back

to England’s qualifier against Switzerland in June. The 19-year-old

was thought to have recovered over the summer but he limped off

after just seven minutes of the Gunners’ Emirates Cup match with

New York Red Bulls last month. Club doctors predicted a week’s

absence but the injury turned out to be more serious and he was

forced to wear the protective boot, which he is now wearing again.

Wenger said: “He had a setback. It’s a hotspot on the bone of his

ankle that if you continue to play, it can lead to a stress

fracture. So we had to stop him. “He felt the first sign in the

second half of the game against Switzerland. “After that, during

the holidays, it was all right and then his pain increased when we

were on tour in Asia. “We had two good test days on Friday and

Saturday. “Yesterday morning, we had a test with the squad and he

felt it again.” Wenger repeatedly expressed concern last term about

the number of games played by Wilshere in his breakthrough season

at the Emirates. The Frenchman won his running battle with England

Under-21 counterpart Stuart Pearce over Wilshere’s inclusion in the

squad for the summer’s European Championships in Denmark. Wenger

said: “He was in the red like I told you and, in fairness, what

nobody wanted to hear. “We knew he was in the red in the last two

months and we continued to play him because we had no choice. “But

maybe it is a consequence of the overuse last year.”