Arsene Wenger has revealed that Jack Wilshere will not return before February.
The England midfielder is yet to feature this season after suffering a hairline feature to his leg during the club’s pre-season programmer.
This is also a massive blow for England head coach Roy Hodgson as he turns his attentions towards next summer’s European Championship in France.
Wenger admitted: ‘He will not be back before February, that’s for sure. I said February but honestly I don’t know.
‘I let him do his recovery. It’s going slowly. Once he goes again, goes outside to train, once he is back again into sharp, hard work physically, you count five or six weeks, so at the moment he is not there yet.
‘We are a bit short because of the injuries we have. But sometimes as well the solution is inside and you have to accept that because we are a club which has always given a chance to layers we have educated. People forget that sometimes and always want new faces.’
Arsenal will be hoping to bounce back from their 4-0 Boxing Day thrashing against Southampton when they host Bournemouth on Monday.
JACK WILSHERE’S INJURY WOES October 2009 – Ankle (out for five weeks)