Complete Timeline of Jack Wilshere's Arsenal Injuries
Arsenal have denied reports that Jack Wilshere will be out until March with his most recent ankle injury, per Sky Sports. This comes after Wilshere received surgery for the fourth time in his professional career.
Wilshere is only 22 years old, soon to be 23, yet his career has been marred by repeated injury setbacks. His year-long absence from the game following a stress injury of his ankle against Switzerland in 2011 was only one of many problems the Englishman has had.
Let's chronicle these injuries as we wait for him to recover from his latest malady.
October 2009: Ankle Knock, 5.5 Weeks
Wilshere was just 17 when he started appearing for Arsenal in the Champions League. In 2009, he made two appearances in the competition.
Just as he was building momentum and inching toward a first-team place, he sustained an ankle injury that kept him out for over five weeks.
It would not be long before he hurt himself again.
January 2010: Hamstring Injury, 4.5 Weeks
In the latter half of the 2009-2010 season, Wilshere was on loan with Bolton Wanderers, a formative spell during which he made massive progress.
But his time there did not begin well, as he pulled a hamstring and was forced to sit out for over a month.
This is one of the few non-ankle injuries Wilshere has suffered through the years.
November 2010: Back, 1.5 Weeks
Jack Wilshere's first full season with Arsenal was his most successful to date. It was also, unsurprisingly, not marred by injuries.
Well, except for this minor one. The young Wilshere saw quite a bit of football during the campaign, when he became such a vital part of the side that Arsene Wenger could not afford to rest him (sound familiar?).
He succumbed to a back strain in November but was healthy for the rest of the season.
July 2011: Ankle, 65 Weeks
This is the big one.
Wilshere had been nursing a niggling ankle injury for a while, and he finally had to address it after a Euro 2012 qualifier against Switzerland.
He had too many setbacks to count after undergoing surgery. He was supposed to come back around autumn, but the pain would not go away. The timeline for Wilshere's recovery kept lengthening until he was out for the entire 2011-12 season and part of the subsequent one as well.
He finally returned in late October of 2012 after missing a total of 65 weeks, and he has not been the same since.
March 2013: Ankle, 4.5 Weeks
As Arsenal were making their final push for the top-four trophy, Wilshere again found himself on the sidelines.
It was yet another ankle complaint, but this time it was his "good" one, which had not been operated on almost two years prior.
He returned for the very end of the season but did not have much time to regain fitness before the campaign ended.
May 2013: Ankle, 6.5 Weeks
Jack Wilshere once again had surgery on his bad ankle after the 2012-13 season ended, but this time the cause was more innocuous.
Wilshere had had a metal pin inserted into his ankle when he underwent major surgery in 2011 to stabilize the bone. It was not prudent for Arsenal to send him away for several weeks during the season so he could have it removed, so they waited until the end of the campaign.
He returned on schedule and had a full preseason.
March 2014: Ankle, 9 Weeks
Arsenal fans were left ruing their luck as Wilshere was sent to the sidelines with an ankle injury once again while playing for England.
He missed virtually all of the run-in, only returning for the last couple of games in mid-May. He missed more than two months and did not have time to get back in his groove when he was finally cleared to come back.
November 2014: Ankle, 12 Weeks (estimated)
Wilshere's latest ankle injury is set to be his longest spell on the sidelines since his 65-week long absence a couple of seasons ago.
Paddy McNair mistimed his challenge on Wilshere as he was running toward Manchester United's goal and placed his studs squarely on the fragile ligaments in his opponent's ankle. There seemed to be little malice involved, but Wilshere had to be helped off the pitch in agony.
His career has been marred by numerous medium-term injuries that add up to about 115 weeks out of the game in the last five years (counting a couple of tiny knocks not listed here). This latest injury is atypical for him in that it was unavoidable, accidental and will cause him to be out for quite a while.
Here's to hoping he follows the examples of Mathieu Debuchy and Olivier Giroud and returns ahead of schedule.