By Chris Harris

Arsène Wenger says the next three weeks will decide whether Jack Wilshere plays for Arsenal this season.

The England midfielder has not made a first-team appearance since last summer's Emirates Cup after undergoing surgery in September. Wilshere has made steady progress in his rehabilitation but Wenger insists Arsenal will not take a gamble on his fitness.

"We will know in the next two or three weeks [if he will play this season]," said the manager.

"We try to keep the hope alive for him and not take too many risks. That means we adapt day to day, to manage him, to improve his physical state and get him fit as quickly as we can without taking too big a risk. That means when he has irritation or discomfort we stop him."

Wilshere became a mainstay of the England set-up last season but it remains to be seen whether he will be fit for the European Championships in June.

"We are now at the end of March, that means to go to a big competition without having played at all is impossible," said Wenger.

"The next three weeks will be decisive. You would think a player who wants to play in June, at the end of April they will have to be competitive. The next three weeks will decide [if he can go to the Euros]."

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 6 Apr 2012