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The Gunners push for silverware has been boosted by the news that their star midfielder could be poised to end his injury nightmare, although Per Mertesacker faces four weeks out

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is hopeful Jack Wilshere could return to the first-team fold within the next month.

The England international has been sidelined since undergoing surgery on his ankle last September and was pencilled in for a January return, but suffered a setback that some reported could leave him missing the rest of the campaign, but Wenger has revealed Wilshere could return soon.

"Jack can be back within a month if all goes well,” he told reporters. "The recovery of his latest problems looks very good. The latest scan was very positive.

"We go cautiously step-by-step because we tried to push him back quicker in the first instance and he had a setback. So this time we have to be cautious and not go too quick.

"He can be back before then end of the season, of course."

However the Gunners boss has seen his defensive options depleted with Germany international Per Mertesacker picking up a knock in their 2-1 win against Sunderland at the weekend.

Wenger added: "He had a reconstruction of his ankle in Germany before he joined us and the scan didn't look to positive yesterday [Monday].

"He went back to Germany to consult the specialist to see where we go from there and he is supposed to contact me this afternoon to tell me exactly what the specialist told him.

"Certainly in the next month he will not be with us."