Jack Wilshere tweeted a picture of himself recuperating after an operation on his ankle. Arsenal said they expect to be without his services for ‘four to five months’. Photograph: Jack Wilshere via Twitter
The midfielder tweeted last week that he hoped to be back “around Christmas time” but the club said after the operation on a stress fracture to his right ankle: “It is envisaged that Jack’s rehabilitation will take a period of four to five months.” That makes late January the earliest date for the England international’s return.
Wilshere, who initially hurt the ankle against Switzerland in June and then aggravated the problem in a pre-season friendly against New York Red Bulls at the Emirates Stadium, tweeted from his hospital bed: “Had my operation and all went well! I am feeling good [and] will spend the night in hospital to monitor me but apart from that I am happy!” He later described his ankle as “a bit sore” but told Arsenal’s website that he was “looking forward to working hard to get fit and playing again”.
Wilshere has been unable to feature in a competitive game this season and is now certain to miss all of Arsenal’s Champions League group stage matches. He had already been ruled out of England’s final Euro 2012 qualifier against Montenegro and a possible November play-off.
Arsenal said in a statement: “Jack Wilshere has this morning undergone ankle surgery at a central London hospital. Under the care of two world-renowned surgeons, Jack has had the stress fracture of his right ankle repaired.
“The initial indications are that the surgery has been successful and Jack will now undergo a prolonged period of rehabilitation.”
The winger Theo Walcott has been ruled out of Arsenal’s Champions League match against Olympiakos tomorrow with knee trouble but he intends to return for Sunday’s north London derby against Tottenham Hotspur.
Walcott limped off against Bolton Wanderers on Saturday after suffering sharp pain in the joint, an injury described by Arsenal as “minor”, and it was hoped that he would be fit to face the Greek champions at the Emirates Stadium.
Yet there remains some swelling to the knee and Walcott will now target the fixture at White Hart Lane for his comeback.