Arsenal’s sicknote midfielder Jack Wilshere says he is finally ready for a return to the first team after appearing for the under-21 side following a serious ankle injury which required surgery.
The 23-year-old England international injured his ankle against Manchester United in November, but played the full 90 minutes on Tuesday against Stoke’s under-21 team, along with Mikel Arteta and Abou Diaby in a 4-1 win.
Wilshere told BBC Sport: “You can train as much as you like but you can’t get that match fitness unless you play. 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 [against Reading on 18 April] but even before that we’ve got big games and we’ve got to go to Manchester United as well [on 17 May] so there’s a chance to play this season.”
Following initial surgery soon after the injury in November, the midfielder went under the knife again in February for a minor procedure to remove pins from his ankle.
Arsenal, who are second in the Premier League and seven ponts behind Premier League leaders Chelsea, face Burnley at the Emirates Stadium this weekend before an FA Cup semi-final at Wembley against Reading.