Wilshere expected back in February, says Wenger

LONDON: Arsenal have played down fears that injured England midfielder Jack Wilshere could miss next year's European championship finals, with manager Arsene Wenger saying on Wednesday he expected the player to return in February.

"I don't believe that at all," the Frenchman said in response to a suggestion that Wilshere was doubtful for the Euro 2016 tournament in France.

"I maintain what I said that he could make it back for February, or even earlier. He will be available again. Considering you play the Euros on June 10, that is a long way," Wenger told a news conference ahead of Saturday's game at home to Newcastle United.

Wilshere broke his fibula in pre-season training in early August and had surgery in September. He has not played for the Premier League leaders this campaign.

The 23-year-old's career has been plagued with ankle and foot injuries since he made his Arsenal debut at the age of 16 and he has only once played more than 25 Premier League games in a season.

Injuries have also badly affected Wilshere's international career, although he scored twice for England in a 3-2 Euro 2016 qualifier against Slovenia in June.