'I'm confident I can play more next season' - Wilshere to work on fitness through summer

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The midfielder has played just seven times for the Hammers as ankle injuries have taken their toll on the former Arsenal man

Jack Wilshere has no plans to rest this summer and will instead work hard on getting back to full fitness after an injury-disrupted first season at West Ham.

The 27-year-old joined the Hammers from Arsenal last summer but, much like how his career at Arsenal was characterised, the move has been plagued by injuries.

He has suffered two separate ankle injuries this season, the last one coming in December and he didn’t return to action until he made a brief appearance from the bench during the 2-2 draw against Leicester City on April 20.

Against Southampton on Saturday, the midfielder impressed in the 25 minutes he was on the pitch and he is now determined to put his woes behind him and become an integral part of Manuel Pellegrini’s plans going forward.

“It will be a summer of work for me. I've worked so hard to get to this level and I want to maintain that, getting back to pre-season where I have left off. I don't want to lose my fitness so I have to work through the summer,” he told the club’s official website.

“It's been a frustrating year but I wanted to get back before the end of the season to get some minutes and confidence going into pre-season, so it feels good. 

“I've worked so hard to get to this point, it's a big off-season for me because I'm now quite fit and I don't want to go away and come back and start again. 

“So I have to do some work in the summer. I'm confident in my body. This injury just took its time to heal. I'm confident I can play far more games next season.”

Wilshere has been in training for a month but wary of his past, Pellegrini has used him sparingly in the Premier League’s run-in.

Capped 34 times by England, Wilshere accepts that injuries may strike again but that he is being sensible in his return.

“Injuries can happen at any point,” he said. “I'm not naive enough to think that is the end of my injury problems but I will do everything I can to avoid them with strength and rehab work.

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“I've been training for a while but training and playing games is a completely different type of fitness

“I know from previous injuries that when you are back to training you are not there. You have to work hard to get to the level players are playing. 

“I've done that by working hard but this is just another step. I had ten minutes a couple of weeks ago, now I have got 25 and I want to get even more next week and push on.”

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