Arsene Wenger is positive Jack Wilshere could be pressing for a place in the Arsenal side inside six weeks, but has insisted that must happen if the midfielder is to secure a place in the England squad at this summer's European Championship.
Wilshere has not played a single minute this season after picking up an ankle injury in the summer that required an operation and a lengthy period of rehabilitation.
The 20-year-old's latest scan was positive, which Wenger hopes will set Wilshere on the road to an Arsenal and England recall.
"If Jack has played some games before the end of the season then it's a possibility he could go to the Euros," Wenger said. "If he has not played at all, then I don't think it's realistic. I will only intervene if I believe he is at risk medically.
"If all goes well he will be back in full training in three weeks and then another two weeks to get match fit. But that is not certain yet. His last scan was positive and if he has no more setbacks then I think he will play again this season.
"But we have gone for a very cautious attitude with him and we will not force him into training with any pain. So we might have to be slower than expected."
If Wilshere fails to make Euro 2012 he could feature at the Olympics, but that would not be to Wenger's liking. "I would rather him go to the Euros than the Olympics," Wenger said. "The Olympics destroy the start of next season for us.
"His position today is that he is back working with the ball and that is a huge step because the work we do with a ball is always demanding."