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Wilshere makes Arsenal return after long-term absence

updated 12:46 PM EDT, Thu September 20, 2012
Jack Wilshere surprised his Arsenal teammates by returning to training at their London Colney base on Thursday.
Jack Wilshere surprised his Arsenal teammates by returning to training at their London Colney base on Thursday.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Jack Wilshere has not played for 14 months
  • 20-year-old has suffered with foot, knee and ankle problems
  • Wilshere made England debut against Hungary in August 2010
  • Midfielder was Arsenal's most used player in 2010-11 season

(CNN) -- England and Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere looks set to finally end his nightmare year after making a return to first-team training.

The 20-year-old missed the entire of last season after suffering an ankle injury during a pre-season friendly in August 2011.

He then suffered a setback earlier this year and was forced to undergo surgery on his knee in May.

Wilshere's agent, Si Bayliff, tweeted: "Delighted to say that Jack Wilshere was back in full 1st team training today.

"Understandably he is a very excited young man."

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However, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is unlikely to rush Wilshere back into action immediately with his side enjoying an impressive start to the season.

Spain winger Cazorla joins Arsenal from Malaga

The Gunners sit third in the Premier League after four games and defeated French champions Montpellier in their opening Champions League fixture on Tuesday.

Wilshere is instead expected to play for the club's Under-21 side against West Bromwich Albion on October 1 or against Reading a week later.

"It's been 14 months and that's a long time for someone at his age," Wenger told the club's official website.

"It's an eternity, but it's great news. We have to give him a few training sessions to see how he copes and responds to it.

"That's the delicate, sensitive stage -- to choose when to bring him in and out. We'll have to handle that day by day."

Arsenal has also been encouraged by the news that Emmanuel Frimpong has returned to training after recovering from an anterior cruciate knee ligament injury he picked up during last season's loan spell at Wolves.

Wenger said: "We also have Emmanuel Frimpong who has returned to full training this week, which is great news as well.

"Emmanuel has also been out a long time, but is progressing well."

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