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Wenger takes cautious approach to Wilshere's ankle injury

Arsenal's Jack Wilshere (top) is challenged by Chelsea's Willian during their English League Cup fourth round soccer match at Emirates Stadi
Arsenal's Jack Wilshere (top) is challenged by Chelsea's Willian during their English League Cup fourth round soccer match at Emirates Stadi

LONDON (Reuters) - Jack Wilshere's ankle injury means he will have to be carefully managed if he is to make it through the season, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said on Friday.

The England midfielder has been troubled by ankle and knee problems throughout his young career but Wenger said he had been assured by the club's medical staff that there was no long-term issue.

Wilshere has been playing with pain but is fit to face Southampton on Saturday after coming through the international break unscathed.

"We play 60 games per year and Jack will certainly have to be managed - unless his pains go completely, then he will be used when needed," Wenger told reporters.

"If there is an alert on his ankles, we will of course take advice from the medical department and use him when he can really be used.

He added: "I have been told by the medical team that there is no concern in the long term. He is just still recovering from his inflammation."

The 21-year-old player is available for Saturday's clash against surprise package Southampton despite rumors that he had suffered another injury flare-up after coming off the bench in the second half of England's midweek friendly defeat to Germany.

Wenger denied reports that he had fallen out with the English FA over manager Roy Hodgson's decision to use Wilshere twice during the international break.

"There is no problem between the FA and Arsenal Football Club. I don't know where that idea comes from because he was supposed to play," he said.

"He was available for England, they used him like they wanted and if he had played the two games I would have been perfectly happy. Two full games - there was no restriction there at all."

(Reporting by Toby Davis; editing by Clare Fallon)

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