Arsenal fear lengthy Wilshere layoff

The England midfielder will be assessed when he returns from Dubai break, having damaged the same ankle that previously caused him to miss the whole of last season

By Wayne Veysey | UK Correspondent

Jack Wilshere has been forced out of Arsenal’s trip to Bayern Munich after injuring the same ankle that contributed to his 16-month layoff, can reveal.

The midfielder sustained the injury to his right ankle against Tottenham in the north London derby and has been recuperating in Dubai.

“Jack Wilshere is out,” Wenger confirmed on Tuesday. “He has an inflamed ankle. I could see in the last couple of games he had started to dig deep. He has played 30 games. For us it is not welcome but maybe for him it is not bad that he has a little breather.”



It is understood that the England star had been feeling some pain in the joint before the Spurs match but told Arsene Wenger and his staff that he was desperate to play.

Arsenal sent Wilshere to the warmth of Dubai at the end of last week and will assess the injury when he returns.

Wenger will give an update on his charge’s progress to the media on Tuesday but there is a widely held fear that the club’s most influential player could face a lengthy spell on the sidelines.

The 21-year-old had surgery in September 2011 to repair a fracture to his right ankle, which had first been sustained in a pre-season friendly in July 2011. He later suffered heel and knee injuries and did not play competitive football again until October 27 of last year.

Wilshere’s absence from the Arsenal squad that leaves London on Tuesday to fly to Munich is a huge blow to the club’s already uphill task in overturning their 3-1 deficit from the first leg.

He is also unlikely to be available for the Gunners’ Premier League trip to Swansea City on Saturday and is a major doubt for England’s World Cup qualifying double header against San Marino and Montenegro.

Roy Hodgson names his England squad on Thursday and will be particularly keen to have Wilshere in the team for the match away to Group H leaders Montenegro on March 26.

Arsenal are also facing a defensive crisis as they prepare for the second leg of their Champions League clash against Bayern.

As revealed by, Bacary Sagna is expected to miss out with a knee problem, while Carl Jenkinson has also been struggling with a knock picked up against Spurs.

With Nacho Monreal cup-tied, Kieran Gibbs is expected to be rushed back into action to face the runaway Bundesliga leaders.

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