Arsene Wenger has played down fears over Jack Wilshere's fitness and says the inflammation in his ankle is only minor.
Wilshere was an unused substitute in Saturday's 0-0 draw with Aston Villa and Wenger admitted it had worked out well that the midfielder was able to get a short rest ahead of the busy Christmas schedule.
He insists the England star is not going to be absent from his plans and is delighted with his return to form since ending a 17 month absence from the squad with a foot injury.
The decision to omit Wilshere provoked discontent from some travelling fans towards the end of the game, but Wenger said he had to be careful in managing the youngster to avoid any further trouble down the line.
"First, it's a relief that he's had no setback (since returning to action)," Wenger said. "He had a little bit of inflammation of scar tissue (in the ankle) but it's nothing. It's very minor.
"The rest (against Villa) will help him get rid of it. Apart from that, he has done very well.
"He has not played for 17 months. People forget what that mean. Seventeen months in a career is massive. But I'm very happy with the way he is progressing."