Arsenal’s Jack Wilshere: I’m still a long way from full fitness

Jack Wilshere warns Arsenal fans not to expect too much too soon after the midfielder started against QPR at the weekend

jack wilshere
Jack Wilshere missed the whole of the 2011-12 season through injury Photo: Nike

jack wilshere

Jack Wilshere insists that there is still more to come from him this season but admits he is still a “long way” from full fitness after making his return to the Arsenal first-team at the weekend.

The 20-year-old midfielder was handed his first start of the season by Arsene Wenger in the 1-0 win over Queens Park Rangers at Emirates Stadium on Saturday after being out of action for 14 months with knee and ankle injuries.

Wilshere impressed during his 60-minute run-out and displayed some of the qualities that had earned him many admirers before his injury woes.

But the England midfielder has asked Gunners fans not to expect too much too soon as he continues his rehabilitation.

“Yeah, definitely [there is more to come from me],” Wilshere told Arsenal Player.

“After 60 minutes, I could feel my legs going. I’m still a long way from full fitness. I think everyone has to understand that. They do here at Arsenal. It’s a long journey and it’s going to take time.

“Football can be like that,” he went on, “especially with England. You can become a better player when you’re injured, you become a world-beater.

“When you come back, there’s an expectation but I can deal with it. That’s part and parcel of football and there’s older players here who can keep my feet on the ground and help me.

“I didn’t expect to be starting. When the boss told me [on Saturday] morning, I was just shocked. But from the moment I went out there it just felt like home. It was great.

“He just said to me, ‘I’m going to play you from the start, I think you’re ready and see how you feel after 60 minutes’. Well after 60 minutes I was just dead!

“I wanted to play, after 14 months any player wants to play. I’ve got to take it slow, 14 months out is a long time but it’ll come back slowly.

“The hard work is not over yet. But we’re sort of through it a bit.”

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