Wilshere comeback delayed

Arsene Wenger still believes Arsenal will secure UEFA Champions

League football next season despite admitting key midfielder Jack

Wilshere’s return has been delayed.

The Gunners are currently in fifth place in the standings, four

points behind Tottenham but they have a game in hand on their north

London rivals.

Wenger is hopeful Wilshere, who has missed the last two games

with an ankle injury and not featured since the defeat by Spurs on

March 3, will return for the Norwich game on April 13.

The England international has been given an additional week to

recover from his injury after the Gunners deferred his rehab.

“We’ve got nine games to go – five at home and four away,” said

the Arsenal manager. “The form we showed against Bayern was very

good. We have a chance to finish in the top four.

“We have the experience of a few years and a special desire to

do it together. It’s a good opportunity for us. We want to grab

this chance. If we are consistent we will do it. We’re not focused

on Tottenham, but the way we want to play.

“Regarding Jack? I think two weeks on Sunday. Not the next game,

but the game after. We deferred his rehab and gave him an extra

week’s rest. Medically, it was wise to do it.”

Wenger was phlegmatic about the pelvic muscle injury that Theo

Walcott picked up while away with England, adding: “Walcott is an

accident that could have happened here.”

Kieran Gibbs is also expected to miss out against Reading on

Saturday with flu.