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Arsenal can lay down a marker


Wilshere set for 'minor' ankle surgery

Arsenal has confirmed midfielder Jack Wilshere will undergo "very minor surgery" on his troublesome left ankle at the end of the domestic season.

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Wilshere, 21, is expected to be available to play a role in Arsenal's final two Premier League fixtures against Wigan and Newcastle in the coming days, but he will miss England's upcoming international fixtures against the Republic of Ireland and Brazil as he is due to have a pin removed from his left ankle.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger had previously insisted his midfielder would not require surgery to resolve what was described by all at the club as little more than inflammation of the ankle, yet that optimism has proved to be misplaced by the latest decision.

"Jack will have small, mild surgery," Wenger told the Arsenal website. "It is a very small, small, small one. It is to remove a small pin. It will not be a problem.

"He will need very minor surgery, but we manage that as far as we can until the end of the season. At the moment, we use him only in games when I feel he is really needed. He won't be available for England in the forthcoming friendlies, but he will be back for pre-season."

Wilshere made a successful return to fitness and form following a 17-month spell on the sidelines with a right ankle problem earlier this season, yet his left ankle then showed signs of wear and tear during a routine scan in March.

The news will cast further doubt over Wilshere's ability to stand up to the pressures of playing at the highest level, while other observers may question the workload he was given by Wenger this season following his return from a lengthy spell on the side lines.


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