Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has revealed Jack Wilshere is on course for a return from injury before the end of the season, raising hopes the 20-year-old could feature for England at the European Championships this summer.
Wilshere has endured a frustrating season and is yet to feature for Arsenal in the 2011/12 campaign having picked up an ankle injury while on international duty with the Three Lions back in June last year.
Since then the talented youngster has undergone surgery on the injury and suffered numerous setbacks, however the end of his injury nightmare may be nearing after Wenger revealed a return to first team action could be close.
"The last scan was good and he can start to jog again so he is on the way back - but we have to be very cautious with him," Wenger said in the Daily Mirror.
"I hope to have him back before the end of the season, but we go step by step."
Wilshere’s absence has been felt by the Gunners after they endured their worst ever start to a Premier League season.
However despite their impending Champions League exit and defeat to Sunderland in the fifth round of the F.A Cup last month the north London club are now in the driving seat for a top four finish after four consecutive league wins, including the 5-2 demolition of local rivals Tottenham.
Their latest victory came courtesy of a last-gasp Robin van Persie effort that helped down top four rivals Liverpool on Saturday, and they now have a three point advantage in the race for Champions League qualification following Chelsea’s surprise defeat against West Brom.
However it wasn’t all good news for the Gunners after Abou Diaby, Yossi Benayoun, and Kieran Gibbs all picked up injuries at Anfield and are doubts for the second leg last 16 tie against A.C Milan in the Champions League.
England will be gladdened to hear the news of Wilshere’s impending return ahead of the Euro’s this summer after a tumultuous period which saw manager Fabio Capello resign over the FA’s decision to strip John Terry of the captain’s armband.
Under-21 boss Stuart Pearce took temporary control of England’s 3-2 friendly defeat against the Netherlands, with Wilshere likely to feature in at least one of their two remaining fixtures before the tournament in Poland and Ukraine this summer if he proves his fitness with Arsenal.