LONDON ENGLAND - OCTOBER 19: Jack Wilshere of Arsenal shoots past Andriy Pyatov of Shakhtar Donetsk to score their fourth goal during the UEFA Champions League Group H match between Arsenal and FC Shakhtar Donetsk at the Emirates Stadium on October 19 2010 in London England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Bad news today from Jack Wilshere; on his Twitter, he confirmed that the stress fracture in his ankle will keep him out 2-3 months. It had been thought that he was in light training, and on the radio with Ian Wright yesterday, he gave no indication that he was going to be out for this long, just that Arsene Wenger had told him to "take his time".
I can confirm I will be out for around 2-3 months! I am working hard in the gym to stay fit and I am gutted but I will be back stronger!
It is thought that Wilshere's injury came from the England-Swtitzerland international at the end of the year, but stress fracture injuries usually come from overuse, which is what Wilshere's came from. Arsene Wenger said as much when discussing Wilshere's injury ahead of the trip to Udinese:
Unfortunately Wilshere is not ready. Maybe it is a consequence of last season, he was in the red like I told you and in fairness what nobody wanted to hear. We knew he was in the red in the last two months and we continued to play him because we had no choice. But maybe it is a consequence of the overuse last year. For me Jack was always out long-term because he was out three weeks. It’s a hot-spot on the bone of his ankle so if he continues to play it can lead to a more serious problem. So we had to stop him.
There are ways to treat stress fractures and hot spots, but those would only temporarily stop the problem, meaning that Wilshere could easily have a flare up. We've seen already with Cesc Fabregas how untreated injuries affect the fitness of players, and so it is good that Wilshere is being rested now so that it doesn't hurt later. Unfortunately, it leaves Arsenal shorthanded in the midfield: Abou Diaby is out, and isn't very reliable, Alex Song is suspended, Emmanuel Frimpong is suspended and Henri Lansbury is out on loan. Hopefully, Mikel Arteta and Aaron Ramsey can cope, and maybe a player like Chuks Aneke, who's impressing in the reserves, can make an impact.
Luckily, Wilshere's injury is different to that of Thomas Vermaelen's last year; it is a stress fracture, not an achilles problem. It does, however lead to some questions for Arsene Wenger and the medical staff: If we knew that Wilshere was in danger of getting hurt, why was he continually played, and why wasn't there a replacement for him in the squad? Also, why did it take so long for the medical staff to determine what Wilshere's problem was? After all, his injury was initially only 10 days; like many other occasions though, the medical staff seem to have gotten the time out wrong. Why does this continue to happen?