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Oct 1, 2012

Wilshere makes comeback after 14 months

Jack Wilshere took to the pitch for the first time in 14 months when he completed 62 minutes for Arsenal's Under-21s on Monday.

Wilshere, 20, started for the side in an advanced midfield role in the 1-0 defeat away to West Bromwich Albion Under-21s.

And the England international nearly had an assist to his name, with his pass to Nico Yennaris almost creating a goal, while his substitution brought a standing ovation from fans at the afternoon kick-off.

It was Wilshere's first game since playing for Arsenal in the Emirates Cup in July 2011 – the game in which he suffered the ankle injury that would keep him out for the whole of last season.

Arsene Wenger has made a point of saying that he will not rush the midfielder back too quickly, warning Roy Hodgson to avoid selecting him for England's forthcoming World Cup qualifiers.

There was more good news for the Gunners as Emmanuel Frimpong continued his recovery from a cruciate ligament injury, picked up on loan at Wolves in February, by also starting the game.

Frimpong, 20, made his comeback to the first team in Arsenal's 6-1 Capital One Cup defeat of Coventry last week, coming on as a substitute but was full of praise for Wilshere after the game.

"It was good to come back and play with the reserves," said the Ghanaian. "It was pleasing to see Jack playing again too.

"Jack did alright. Obviously being out for 14 months it's always going to take a bit of time. But for me he is the same old Jack and technically he still looks the same.

"It is going to take time to get back to his best, but Arsenal and England fans should be excited to see him back again. I'm excited."

Frimpong believes Wilshere will be back playing for England in no time at all, but says his priority is impressing Arsene Wenger.

"When you're a player like Jack, fans of Arsenal are going to need him playing again and hopefully he will back in a couple of games," he added. "If he's fit then I'm sure the manager will pick him.

"It's going to be good for England to have Jack back but at the moment he's just focused on getting back for Arsenal. If he's playing well for Arsenal, you cannot see why he cannot be picked for England."

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