Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere has set himself a target of playing at least some part in the end-of-season shake-up for Arsene Wenger's side, after completing 90 minutes for the under-21s at the Emirates Stadium last night.
Wilshere stepped up his comeback by playing the full game for a strong second-string side, which also featured Mikel Arteta and Abou Diaby.
The 23-year-old looks to have finally recovered from an ankle injury that's kept him out of first-team contention since November, but now has the challenge of winning his place back in an Arsenal team that's won 15 of their last 17 matches in all competitions.
Will Wenger recall Wilshere this weekend?
After helping the reserves beat Stoke City 4-1 on Tuesday night the England international was positive about being key for Wenger between now and the end of the season.
Wilshere told Arsenal's official club website: “You can train as much as you like but you can’t get that match fitness unless you play.
“In the Premier League you know how quick it is so you have to get back to that speed.
“I feel like I’m ready to play some part. When you’re injured you look at your comeback date and the games around that time.
“The one that stands out is the FA Cup semi-final but even before that we’ve got big games and we’ve got to got to Man United as well so there’s a chance to play this season.”
Expect Wenger to be cautious with returning quartet
When you look at Wilshere's shocking injury record in recent years it will hardly be surprising if Wenger chooses to be cautious with his talented young playmaker over the next few weeks, particularly considering false dawns for a comeback earlier this season.
Wilshere was back in the squad for February's clash with Crystal Palace, but didn't leave the bench and was back on the treatment table soon after.
Wenger now has a dilemma on his hands with Wilshere in particular, does he pick him to face either Burnley this weekend or Reading in the FA Cup semi-final, or take things more slowly?
The same goes to a lesser extent with other long-term absentees Mathieu Debuchy and Arteta, particularly given that Arsenal have won seven successive matches in their best run of the season.
Wilshere will almost definitely have to be patient when it comes to first-team opportunities, but that's no bad thing in the long run for a player desperate to make up for lost time.
Arsenal fans, would you include Wilshere in the squad to face Burnley this weekend? Let us know in the comment box below!
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