Wenger 'positive' over Wilshere but rules out August return

The Arsenal manager remains cautiously optimistic that the 20-year-old is heading in the right direction with his recovery but confirmed that he will miss the start of the season
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is hopeful that Jack Wilshere will return to training over the next few weeks but has confirmed that the young midfielder will not play for the Gunners in August.

Wilshere has been sidelined for a year with a string of ankle and knee problems and the 20-year-old is still yet to kick a ball following surgery in May. He has not accompanied the Gunners on their pre-season tour of the Far East.
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Wenger is confident that the England international is making good progress but remained wary given the continued setbacks Wilshere had suffered before this point.

"I am positive but a bit cautious because we had so much disappointing news with him," Wenger told reporters.

"Everybody in the medical department says to me he’s doing very well. He is still in the gym. Any player still in the gym in July is not on the pitch in August, that is for sure.

"I don’t want to give him any precise deadline because that would put him under huge pressure. At the moment, I'm trying to go step-by-step with him but the news is positive.

"I am more positive this time because there is no setback. He had his ankle problem and that created a knee problem. He needed surgery on his knee tendon.

"The advantage of this was to heal completely the inflammation in the ankle. The ankle is perfect and the knee is doing very well. Normally he should go out again in a few weeks.

"It will take some time to come back but let's not forget Jack is 20 and that means you recover quicker than when you're 32.

"If he has no medical problem, he will come back very quickly."

Arsenal begin their tour in Kuala Lumpur without a host of first-team players, leaving Wenger frustrated.

New signings Olivier Giroud and Lukas Podolski have been given additional time to recover following Euro 2012, whilst Aaron Ramsey is on Olympics duty with Team GB and Robin van Persie has not travelled with the squad amidst speculation about his future.
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"It's a little bit of a concern we have players missing but there’s not much choice," Wenger bemoaned.

"After a World Cup or the European Championships you're always in the same situation. The good thing for us is that the other clubs have the same problem.

"You want the players to do well in the Euros but you know those who go far take a while to recover and to get back their focus at the start of the season.

"You know you have to focus a bit more on the other players.

"We have a game against Cologne. We are also still looking to organise one game when we come back on the weekend when we should have gone to Nigeria. It will be behind closed doors."