By Chris Harris

Jack Wilshere never doubted that he would return to Arsenal's first team - despite missing an entire season through injury.

The 20-year-old sat out the 2011/12 campaign with ankle and knee problems but was back where he belonged last month when he ended a 524-day wait for a competitive appearance by starting against Queens Park Rangers.

Wilshere has since made two further first-team appearances after preparing for his comeback with three under-21 fixtures and a training ground friendly. And Arsenal's new No 10 was always confident of re-establishing himself.

"I don’t think there was a point where I thought I’m not coming back," said Wilshere after completing 90 minutes at Schalke. "I always thought I could come back.

"It was a serious injury, of course it kept me out for so long, but it wasn’t the result of a bad tackle or anything where it was career-threatening. It was just something that happened over time.

"I knew it would take time to heal and then I had a few setbacks. Obviously you question yourself and say ‘am I going to come back to the level that I was at before?’ Hopefully now I can get back to training well."

Wilshere took the Premier League by storm the season before last, belying his tender years with a string of precocious performances in the Arsenal midfield. International honours followed and Wilshere believes he can scale the same heights before long.

"Every day I really need to work hard and get back up to the level I was at," he said.

"I think I can [reach that level]. On Wednesday I felt better than I did over the weekend and the weekend before that so I am feeling better and better with each game that goes on.

"It’s a long season so I need to take it easy a bit but I am looking forward to the future."

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7 Nov 2012