Wilshere nearing Gunners return

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has revealed Jack Wilshere is finally close to making his comeback as he prepares his side for a defining part of the season, starting with the Champions League last-16 first-leg tie against AC Milan at the San Siro on Wednesday (Milan 21/20, Draw 12/5, Arsenal 11/4 Match Betting).

England midfielder Wilshere has not featured at all this season after undergoing ankle surgery before enduring a further setback by sustaining a stress fracture during his recovery last month.

However, the latest signs are good for the 20-year-old and Wenger is hopeful of having him back for selection in March.

“Jack can be back within a month if all goes well,” said Wenger.

“The recovery of his latest problems looks very good. The latest scan was very positive.”

Arsenal have moved back into the Champions League places after successive wins in the Premier League (Gunners 5/4 Top 4 Finish), while they face Sunderland in the FA Cup on Sunday and Wenger is determined to push his players all the way as they bid to end their drought of silverware.

Wenger added: “We are concentrated on every game we play. We do not choose the games.

“We are Arsenal Football Club and we just try to win the next game.

“Is it FA Cup, Champions League or Championship? I believe it is important we are strong everywhere.”

Per Mertesacker has been ruled out for a month with an ankle injury suffered against Sunderland at the weekend, but Kieran Gibbs is set to return to the side, allowing Thomas Vermaelen to return to the centre of defence.

Thierry Henry returns to New York Red Bulls following the Italy trip but is expected to be once again on the bench.

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