Arsène Wenger has backed Jack Wilshere to make a full recovery from injury and have a “great” World Cup this summer.
The Arsenal midfielder sustained a hairline fracture to the navicular bone in his left foot while on international duty with England on Wednesday night.
The 22-year-old has been ruled out for the next six weeks, but Wenger insists there is still plenty of time for him to prove his fitness.
He can have a great World Cup if all works well. [He is] six weeks out, but if you look we have 11 weeks until the end of the season and then you still have six weeks before the start of the World CupArsène Wenger
“He is a very important player for England, if you look at his age and the number of caps he has,” the Arsenal manager said.
“At the World Cup you will be happy that you have a player who is as committed as that, who has the technical ability to go forward.
“What is important now for him is of course that he goes there in full fitness, and we have to make sure that after the six weeks he has no setbacks.
“When you go to a tournament like [the World Cup], you have to be 100 per cent fit. I am confident he will be because the timescale is all right.
“He can have a great World Cup if all works well. [He is] six weeks out, but if you look we have 11 weeks until the end of the season and then you still have six weeks before the start of the World Cup. So it's 17 weeks. That means he has 11 weeks’ preparation. That should be perfect.”
When asked whether Wilshere was too brave for his own good in staying on the pitch on Wednesday, Wenger acknowledged that it is in his nature.
“What people admire in Jack is that he is a technical player but also a committed player. You don’t want to take that away from him,” he said.
“When he was younger, I told him not to go into stupid challenges. I think he has improved a lot on that front. He went in the other night. Did he need to go in there? You always point to your instinct in that situation.
“We are always sitting here saying that you want full commitment from the players. When you get it, you don’t want to say he shouldn’t commit. I am always reluctant to do that.
“I say always to players that they have to respect the guy who pays £10 to sit on the seats up there. Even if it is a friendly, the fans have to have your commitment.
“You don’t want to say that you shouldn’t commit. It is a friendly, but even in a friendly you have to have the same respect for the game and the people who buy the tickets.”Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 7 Mar 2014