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Oct 5, 2012

Wilshere ready to continue comeback

Arsenal's Jack Wilshere is set to play the second game of his comeback next week, manager Arsene Wenger has said.

Wenger confirmed Wilshere has had no adverse reaction to his work-out in an Arsenal under-21 game on Monday, but stressed that caution remained the best policy when it comes to the timing of the midfielder's first-team return.

"Jack is doing very well, but we need to be a bit patient," he said. "He has played 60 minutes in the reserve team and he needs a few games, progressive build-up to get his body used again to competition, to shocks, to fights.

"Still, the situation looks very good. We have to be cautious, not crazy. Because of his talent, you are always pushed into a situation where you would like to rush him back, and we have to resist that.

"The next match should be next week, and he is working very hard in training."

He said it was a case of balancing the health of the player, the interests of the club and the interests of the national team.

"You have to try to combine the three, but the most important thing, of course, is the health of the player," he said.

Wenger confirmed that midfielder Aaron Ramsey is "fine" after being replaced as captain of the Welsh national team, with the Arsenal boss suggesting he will return to the role later in his career.

"It is a big call to take the captaincy away from Aaron, but I do not know the quality of the other personalities in their squad," he added.

"Aaron will certainly be a captain one day, as that is the kind of character he is. Clearly he was very young to get this role, but he is fine."

Wenger said his first choice goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny is still "two to three weeks" from a first team return, while defender Per Mertesacker "is not certain to play" at West Ham on Saturday after missing the midweek Champions League game against Olympiakos.

Bacary Sagna is also on his way back to full fitness after five months on the sidelines and may play in the Under-21 fixture that will feature Wilshere on Monday, with Wenger confirming his full-back has been back in training for a week.

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