Bournemouth and Arsenal fans alike held their breath on Monday night when they had to watch the sorry sight of midfielder Jack Wilshere heading straight down the tunnel having been brought off in first half injury time.
The on-loan Gunner has been showing glimpses of his old self this season, having surprised everyone – probably even Cherries manager Eddie Howe – when he agreed to move to the south coast on Deadline Day last summer, after it became apparent that game time would be a tough commodity to come by at The Emirates this season.
His time at Dean Court started slowly, with Howe setting out a rigid personal training regime for the England international whilst also managing his time on the pitch to a tee.
It was not until October that, perhaps quite fittingly, the midfielder was afforded his first full 90 minutes of first team football, since a 2-1 League Cup loss to Southampton in 2014, against the Gunners fierce rivals, Tottenham.
Despite having to sit out clashes with his parent club, Wilshere has been a mainstay in the number ten role for the south coast side, who have been struggling since the turn of the year.
Their New Year misfortune was not helped on Monday night when, in his usual gung-ho style, Wilshere dived to make an excellent tackle on David Silva, who simultaneously looked to fire a powerful shot goalwards from the edge of the area.
With the force of both going for the ball, Wilshere looked to jar his ankle and instantly hobbled off to receive treatment. However, he was then waved back on by referee Neil Swarbrick and looked to be coping until the clock got into five minutes of added time in the first half.
With not long to go Howe was forced to hook his star man and send former Arsenal youngster, Benik Afobe, on in his place.
Manchester City won almost at a canter on the night but it was not long into the post-match press conference that thoughts turned to Wilshere, although Howe was quick to calm fears by saying it was “not major” and that the club would assess the damage.
However, regardless of the severity of the midfielder’s injury, there is much less cause to be concerned this time around.
With the regularity that Wilshere has been involved at the highest level this season, he is fitter that he will have been in the last five years, having picked up ten separate injuries with Arsenal since 2012.
That match fitness will contribute a lot to the strength and speed of his recovery, so will the meticulous attentions of Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe, having been praised for his management of the loanee’s fitness in the early stages of the season, you would expect him to show the same degree of care this time around.
Therefore, whilst it is never a good sight to see injury prone players being hauled off, there is a lot less to worry about this time around in the case of Jack Wilshere, Arsenal fans can rest easy and hope to see him back at his best this summer.