Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere is still some way off a first-team comeback, and may not return to action until October, warns Arsene Wenger.
The 20-year-old missed the entire 2011-12 campaign after suffering a series of setbacks in his lengthy rehabilitation from an ankle injury, and the Gunners boss is cautious about setting the youngster a specific return date.
Wilshere is being monitored closely by the club's extensive medical team, but will not be rushed back in his recovery amid fears of further complications.
"I am positive but a bit cautious because we had so much disappointing news with him," explained Wenger. "Everybody in the medical department says to me he's doing very well.
"He is still in the gym. Any player still in the gym in July is not on the pitch in August, that is for sure. I don't want to give him any precise deadline because that would put him under huge pressure.
"At the moment, I'm trying to go step-by-step with him but the news is positive. I am more positive this time because there is no setback."
Wilshere was most recently sent to Sweden for an operation on his knee in April, adding to the list of ongoing problems suffered by the crocked England international.
Such is the fragility of his situation, there are obvious concerns from Arsenal and England fans that the talented youngster may never make a full recovery.
However, Wenger has rubbished those claims, saying that once he has overcome the latest hurdle, there is no reason why Wilshere can't go on to enjoy a long, injury-free career.
"He had his ankle problem and that reacted a knee problem. He needed surgery on his knee tendon," explained the Frenchman. "The advantage of this was to heal completely the inflammation in the ankle.
"The ankle is perfect and the knee is doing very well. Normally he should go out again in a few weeks. It will take some time to come back but let's not forget Jack is 20 and that means you recover quicker than when you're 32.
"If he has no medical problem, he will come back very quickly."
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