Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jack Wilshere ruled out of England duty
Arsenal midfielders Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Jack Wilshere will not be fit for international duty with England later this month, Gunners manager Arsene Wenger revealed on Friday
London: Arsenal midfielders Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Jack Wilshere will not be fit for international duty with England later this month, Gunners manager Arsene Wenger revealed on Friday
Oxlade-Chamberlain suffered a hamstring injury during the second half of Arsenal`s 2-1 FA Cup quarter-final win at Manchester United on Monday.
And Wenger expects the 21-year-old, who had just returned to the side following a groin problem, to be sidelined around "three or four weeks", which rules him out of contention for the Euro 2016 qualifier against Lithuania at Wembley on March 27 and the friendly with Italy in Turin four days later.
Wilshere, meanwhile, is recovering from minor surgery to remove studs from the pin in his ankle, and is also expected to need a few more weeks recovery time.
"It is a classic hamstring. That means he (Oxlade-Chamberlain) will be out for three weeks, four weeks maximum. He will not be available for England as well," said Wenger, whose side host West Ham on Saturday as they looked to cement their place in the Premier League`s top four.
"It is very frustrating for him because he played more games than ever this season. He has shown again on Monday night what an important player he can be for Arsenal and for England.
"He is keen to play for England and I think it is a big blow for him.
"Alex knows as well that it is the type of injury where you can recover quickly and come back, but it is not an ideal moment."
Wenger confirmed he had not yet spoken to England manager Roy Hodgson, who will name his squad for the upcoming internationals next Thursday.
The Gunners boss, though, is confident Wilshere can recover to play some part in the end-of-season run-in.
"He had a little inflammation of his ankle, so we decided to do it (the surgery) now," Wenger said.
"We had to rest him anyway, so we decided to get these screws off instead of doing it at the end of the season, when there is England again. We wanted to combine both together.
"I don`t know how long it will be before he returns because we have to respect the progression of his training.
"It has taken a bit longer and I don`t really know why at the moment, but I am hopeful it is a matter of weeks now."