Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere has called on the club’s fans to remain patient with him as he continues to rediscover his form following his injury nightmare.
The playmaker was out of action for almost 17 months due to a stress fracture on his ankle, a problem that not only saw him miss an entire Barclays Premier League season but Euro 2012 and perhaps more significantly, the once in a lifetime opportunity to play at the Olympics.
Both the Gunners and England have certainly struggled without his vision and flair, but he made an immediate impact on his return to the side, earning the man-of-the-match award during his first start back against Queens Park Rangers and online betting markets quickly speculated about what impact he could have on Arsenal’s title chances this season.
The excitement around him understandably grew but expectations were lowered when he was sent off against Manchester United earlier this month.
However, this didn’t dissuade Three Lions boss Roy Hodgson from bringing him back into the squad for the recent friendly with Sweden and Wilshere impressed after coming off the bench on the hour mark in Stockholm.
The 20-year-old admits he is pleased with how his comeback has gone so far but has called for patience as he continues to settle back into top flight football.
"I don't how long it will be before I can say 'I'm back.' I'm not really sure,” Wilshere said. "This is my first long-term injury. We will see. I'm sure you lot (the media) will notice when I'm back to my best!”
"I'm getting there. I don't feel 100 per cent yet and everyone can see that. I feel better and better as every game goes on.
"I need to get some games under my belt and properly get back into the swing of things but it's great to be back. Seventeen months on the sidelines is tough for anyone," he added.