Wilshere – Cesc told me to take it easy

There were 524 days between Jack Wilshere’s appearance in the Premier League against Fulham and his return from injury against QPR this season. An ankle injury which at first seemed innocuous would keep the Arsenal and England midfielder out for 15 months and require multiple surgeries.

Speaking in this month’s Arsenal magazine to Josh James, Wilshere reveals how some days only his son Archie could get him through the depression he was feeling about being out of the game for so long.

About his injury Wilshere said

I’d felt it before, we had been in Asia and I’d felt  over there. So we scanned it but found it was nothing serious – a bit of bruising, so thought we could manage it. I played the day before the Red Bulls game – 45 minutes against Boca Juniors and I didn’t really feel it in that game. The game the next day was too much, but it shouldn’t have been, because I’d only played 45 minutes so I knew something wasn’t right.

That week we scanned it and found there was a little stress response. I saw a specialist and he told me I’d need to be in a protective boot for two months. He said we didn’t want to have surgery because the bone was too small and it could damage it more. So I said ‘yes, let’s wait for it to heal.’

After a month we decided to scan it again to check the progress and we found that it just wasn’t healing. Then surgery was the only alternative.

Obviously I owe the surgeon, James Calder, everything. He and another specialist, Niek van Dijk, came over from Holland and they worked on it together.

My body is stronger than it was before. I’ve done a lot of work with Declan Lynch and the other physios here over the past year. I’ve improved my core, improved my leg muscle strength – everything.

Cesc used to say to me ‘take it easy, don’t play too many games.’ Obviously, I dond’t want to have a year off. But when I’m 24 or 25 I won’t have played as many games as someone like Cesc and that will help me.

The rest of the interview can be read in the January 2013 issue of the Arsenal magazine which is available now.


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Lee Hurley

Writer specialising in good football and bad relationships. If in doubt, assume sarcasm.