Wenger - We must manage Jack carefully

Arsene Wenger says Arsenal will continue to manage Jack Wilshere's fitness carefully for the benefit of the midfielder’s long-term career.

Wilshere has missed Arsenal’s last two games after suffering minor inflammation to his ankle, and will not be available for Saturday’s game against Reading as a precaution.

The injury is not to the leg that kept Wilshere out of action for almost a year and a half but Wenger maintains that the 21-year-old will not be rushed back into action.

“We will rest him when it is needed,” Wenger said. “He has regular scans and as soon as we have an alert we will respect it no matter what is at stake.

“He had a difficult moment of course when you told him [he would be rested] because he didn’t feel any special pain. But he knows he has to take care of his future. Because he is a very young player, I think he accepts it.”

Wilshere could be selected for England’s end-of-season friendlies against Republic of Ireland and Brazil, and Wenger says he would be happy for the midfielder to play, fitness permitting.

“If he is selected, he will go,” the boss said. “It depends what kind of shape he will be in.

“It is a job where you need to play and where you have a physical gamble but he doesn’t need any special treatment. You just have to be cautious with the inflammations of his ankle sometimes but if he has no problem, why not?”

Arsenal v Reading

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