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No date on Jack Wilshere return

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has given a gloomy prognosis for Jack Wilshere's immediate fitness, after confirming the midfielder has not flown to Dortmund for Wednesday night's Champions League match.

Jack Wilshere clutches his ankle in the Champions League match against Dortmund.
Jack Wilshere seems to suffer an ankle knock of some degree in every match.

- Mangan: Arteta shows his worth

Wilshere missed Saturday's game against Liverpool with what Wenger described as inflammation of the ankle, with the 21-year-old's prospects of playing in the next couple of weeks appearing to be slim.

"He [Wilshere] has not travelled and I will know more on Thursday when we have another test," Wenger told reporters in Germany. "If that is not successful he will be out for Sunday. If he is out on Sunday he will be out for England [internationals] as well."

Wilshere's ongoing problems are becoming concerning for Wenger, who has admitted in recent weeks that the Arsenal medical staff need to analyse the state of the midfielder's ankle on a game to game basis after the injury that kept him out for 17 months until his return last season. That said, this latest problem relates to the player's other ankle.

The doubts over Wilshere's fitness levels have been allayed by the arrival of Mesut Ozil in a club record 42.4 million-pound deal, with Wenger fielding plenty of questions about his new star turn ahead of the vital Champions League clash against Juergen Klopp's side in the player's homeland.

Yet it was his insistence that his side dare not take their foot off the pedal after establishing a five-point lead at the top the Premier League table that was the resounding message from his latest press briefing.

"We are a positive side, Dortmund are a positive side, so you have a guarantee both sides will try and win the game," he added. "But we must be cautious and be on our toes because we changed it [last season against Bayern] in an emphatic way so let's make sure we continue to grow and do not think 'okay let's have a little breather'.

"We take belief from Bayern. We play everywhere to win and that will not change of course, we will have a positive attitude in our approach to the game. We have played everywhere in Europe and always had the same approach and will be again like that tomorrow.

"It is difficult to predict what will happen, that is what makes football great. Dortmund are positive, we are very positive. At least that will guarantee both teams will try to win the game.

"We passed [the test against Liverpool last weekend] in a convincing way. The focus of the team and the togetherness you could feel from the outside. Let's enjoy it, take a lot of encouragement from it and continue to develop as a team."


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