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Jack Wilshere woe is just latest in Arsenal's trail of injury nightmares

27 Sep 2011 15:06:41

Jack Wilshere woe is just latest in Arsenal's trail of injury nightmares

'It's not very serious. But it's serious enough that they say he will be out for the whole of next week. It's inflammation but he has not torn anything.' Those words were spoken by Arsene Wenger back in July after Jack Wilshere limped off seven minutes into a pre-season friendly against the New York Red Bulls. Tough times: Arsene Wenger has much to ponder at Arsenal The Arsenal boss followed the statement by declaring the midfielder was a quick healer - even the 19-year-old claimed he expected to be back for the season opener against Newcastle. But like a schoolchild forever extending their coursework deadline, the goalposts for his comeback date have constantly been shifted. After Newcastle he was supposed to be ready for Udinese, then Manchester United, before suffering a setback from the result of 'pushing himself too hard in training.' At the start of September he was given the all-clear to resume light training before being ruled out for three months just three days later. Come to the present day and the operation for a stress fracture that will now keep him out until February, and judging by his luck already who knows if that will be the last of it? So how has it come to the situation where the player, expected to begin the season, will now miss the majority of it? You have to go back to where it all started which was the very end of the last campaign and England's 2-2 draw with Switzerland at Wembley in June. On the mend: Jack Wilshere gives the thumbs up after surgery It's where Wilshere picked up a knock on his ankle, already a weak spot, but it wasn't deemed serious enough for him to hobble off or be substituted as he played the full 90 minutes. Arsenal gave him the summer off to rest and it is a decision that has been questioned by Fabio Capello, with the England boss claiming the extent of the injury is the result of the club not looking after the problem. Capello said: 'I spoke with the doctor, I know that he suffered the same two years ago. Then he suffered this accident against Switzerland, it's true, and afterwards he went on holiday. When he started the new season, he was not fit. Now they've found the problem. 'It's not my job to say what happened but he suffered (the injury) against Switzerland and then went on holiday for a month.' Inside those two years Wilshere has not only spent a year in the Arsenal first team but previously had a five-month loan spell with Bolton. No wonder the club were desperate for Stuart Pearce not to include him in the Under 21 squad for the European Championships earlier this summer. It does beg the question why didn't Arsenal take more due care over one of their most prized assets during the off-season if his injury has been a time bomb waiting to happen. As unlucky as the club are from suffering injuries to their players while away on international duty, this isn't the first time a minor injury has developed into something more serious at the club. Here are four other Arsenal players that have faced constant setbacks during their time at the Emirates Stadium.  Thomas Vermaelen'Not a long-term concern' was Wenger's original verdict on the centre-back when he picked up an achilles injury a year ago. But after the Belgian was originally ruled out for a few weeks, each month brought a new set-back leading to the 25-year-old requiring surgery last January that kept him out until the middle of May. Niggles: Thomas Vermaelen (right) is on the sidelines again Vermaelen admitted he had been carrying the problem before he was sidelined. 'I knew I had a problem at the beginning of September, when I was preparing for Belgium's games against Germany and Turkey,' said Vermaelen. 'I didn't want to miss them, but after the game in Turkey, the pain became too great.' In a cruel twist of fate Vermaelen has once again undergone surgery on an achilles problem that will keep him out until the end of October - the damage this time on the other foot.   Troubles: Robin van Persie Robin van PersieIt's amazing to think the Dutchman has been with Arsenal for seven years and has yet to complete a full season - mostly due to niggly injuries he continues to pick up. Knees, toes and ankles have all buckled during his time in north London and it happens on international duty so often that Gunners fans are resigned to thinking it's the last they will see of him for a couple of months when he plays for Holland. Last year was the 28-year-old's 'annus horribilis' as a knee injury in November 2009 that was expected to keep him out for six weeks instead sidelined him for five months. Starting the new season the striker suffered an ankle injury in August that kept him out until November. But after scoring his first goal of the campaign at Birmingham on New Year's Day not only has he stayed off the treatment table but he hasn't stopped scoring since - has he finally turned the corner?  Cesc FabregasVery rarely did Fabregas suffer a major injury that would rule him out for a number of months at Arsenal, but looking at his final three seasons with the Gunners he was often found missing through small injuries. In fact 22, 27 and 25 were the midfielder's league appearances for the last three campaigns and he would often miss crucial matches. The 24-year-old was absent in Arsenal's Carling Cup final defeat to Birmingham earlier this year, a London derby at title rivals Chelsea that season and the last month of the 2009-10 campaign - all through injuries that kept him out for a few weeks. But you have to emphasise the amount of football on his calendar during this period. He was part of a Spain side that went the full distance at Euro 2008 and last year's World Cup, as well as the semi-finals of the Confederations Cup in 2009. It's not just Fernando Torres that has suffered from that catalogue of games.  Kieran GibbsAnd you thought Wilshere had problems. Gibbs is part of the furniture in the treatment room at Arsenal and has been since the back end of 2009. After receiving a crunching tackle in a Champions League game in November that year, Gibbs underwent surgery on a broken metatarsal in his left foot that kept him out for the rest of the season. The full-back featured in pre-season for the following campaign before bruising his foot against Tottenham in a Carling Cup match last September. Praying for a run: Kieran Gibbs He quickly made a recovery but in the next round against Newcastle suffered knee ligament damage that ruled him out for a few more weeks. Gibbs was then put out of action for a month last December after slipping and injuring his ankle in a Champions League win over Partizan Belgrade. The 22-year-old went on to make 20 appearances over the course of the season but already early in his career he has proven to be injury prone.  Wenger defends medical team amid deepening fears over injured WilshereJack the knife! Fresh op blow for Arsenal's Wilshere as midfielder faces five months outArsenal suffer yet another blow with whizzkid Wilshere set for ankle surgeryAll the latest Arsenal news, features and opinion


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