Jack Wilshere to return for Arsenal in Under-21 game at West Brom

Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere will return from 14 months out injured when he plays an hour of Monday's Under-21 Premier League match at West Brom.

Wilshere, 20, has not featured since limping out of a pre-season friendly against New York Red Bulls on 31 July 2011 with an ankle problem.

"It is fantastic for him," said Gunners manager Arsene Wenger.

"When you are out for so long, it's massive to take. It's massive for him to come back, and for us as well."

Jack Wilshere factfile

  • Born on 1 January 1992
  • Joined Arsenal in October 2001
  • Made senior debut against Blackburn as a substitute in a 4-0 victory in September 2008
  • Scored first Arsenal goal versus Sheffield United in a Carling Cup tie
  • Spent second half of 2009-10 season on loan at Bolton
  • Made England debut versus Hungary in August 2010
  • Arsenal's most-used player in 2010-11 season

Wilshere resumed full training on 21 September and Wenger felt it would take 10 days before he could be considered for selection.

Arsenal travel to The Hawthorns for a 14:00 BST kick-off and will hope the England international emerges unscathed.

Wenger then plans to give Wilshere some more minutes with the second string prior to considering him for the first team.

And he said October's World Cup qualifiers would come too soon for the 2011 PFA young player of the year.

England host San Marino at Wembley on Friday, 12 October and face Poland in Warsaw four days later.

Wilshere's last competitive match was his country's 2-2 draw with Switzerland in qualifying for Euro 2012.

He missed the finals after a long-standing knee injury flared up during his rehabilitation from a stress fracture to his right ankle.

"What he's gone through will make him stronger," Wenger added. "It's a good test for your mental strength.

"I always thought he would come back. Wilshere has had ups and downs. He was focused, especially in the last three months.

"We have to be a bit cautious. We need to manage him well. He needs a few games in the reserves."

Meanwhile, the Frenchman confirmed that captain and centre-back Thomas Vermaelen is fit for Saturday's visit of Chelsea in the Premier League after missing the draw at Manchester City with a virus.