Wilshere could return in March

Midfielder making good progress following stress fracture

Jack Wilshere: Could be back in action within a month after making good progress with his latest injury

Per Mertesacker is stretchered off against Sunderland at the weekend

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Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is hopeful Jack Wilshere could finally return to action next month.

The 20-year-old has not played this season after undergoing ankle surgery in September and then suffering a stress fracture in his right foot during his rehabilitation.

Wilshere was on target for a February comeback until it was confirmed earlier this month that the England international had suffered the latest setback.

Wenger has revealed Wilshere's recovery is going well and the midfielder could be back within a month if all goes to plan.

Very positive

"Jack can be back within a month if all goes well," said Wenger.

"The recovery of his latest problems looks very good. The latest scan was very positive.

"We go cautiously step-by-step because we tried to push him back quicker in the first instance and he had a setback. So this time we have to be cautious and not go too quick.

"He can be back before then end of the season, of course."

Mertesacker blow

Meanwhile, Per Mertesacker has been ruled out for a month after suffering an ankle injury against Sunderland at the weekend.

Mertesacker was stretchered off after he appeared to catch his studs in the turf at the Stadium of Light and collapsed to the ground in the build-up to Sunderland's goal from James McClean.

The 27-year-old, who had reconstruction of his ankle before joining the Gunners, has returned to Germany to see a specialist.