Wenger: Wilshere had career doubts

Arsene Wenger accepts there were probably times when Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere doubted whether he would ever play again.

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Wenger: Wilshere had career doubts
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Jack Wilshere

The England international finally returned to full training on Thursday after a niggling ankle injury sidelined him for the whole of last season, also ruling him out of contention for Euro 2012.

Wenger, though, will take no chances with the 20-year-old, who is likely to have a few reserve outings before being considered for first-team action.

The Gunners boss understands Wilshere has been through a testing spell of "highs and lows" during his 14-month rehabilitation, a spell which saw him need further surgery just when a recovery appeared on the horizon.

"When you are so young and out for 14 months that is a good test for your mental strength," said Wenger. "On that front he has been absolutely brilliant because he had not only ankle surgery, but when he thought that was over he had knee surgery. He handled that very well, I must say.

"I refused to give up, because he is a 19-year-old boy, so I always thought he would come back.

"I am not medically expert enough to know how big the damage was in his ankle. It never crossed my mind. Has it crossed his mind? Only he can answer that - I think, yes. Jack, though, has always been with a good level of confidence. I believe what he has gone through will make him even stronger."

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