Arsene Wenger has revealed that he does not expect midfielder Jack Wilshere to return for Arsenal until October at the earliest.
The England playmaker and product of the club's academy has not featured in a competitive game for the Gunners since a friendly with New York Red Bulls on July 31 last year following a series of ankle and knee injuries.
Wenger said: “Hopefully, we will get Wilshere back playing for October.
“With Abou Diaby returning, it will be like signing two new players. This season, the squad will be strong and competitive.”
Wilshere, 20, first suffered the troublesome ankle injury in the Emirates Cup game against the MLS side, hobbling off after just seven minutes and he has since required a number of operations to correct the ligament damage.
More recently, he needed knee surgery following a setback in his rehabilitation period - an injury linked to his ankle problem.
Prior to these problemsinjuries, he had featured heavily in Arsenal's 2010-11 campaign, playing almost 50 games, as well as taking his bow for England.