Arsene Wenger has assured Arsenal fans that Jack Wilshere will be available for Sunday's clash with Manchester United, but is wary of the midfielder suffering from burn out.
The Gunners boss chose to leave the England international on the bench during Saturday's 1-0 win over Fulham, introducing him to the game with 20 minutes remaining with his side ahead courtesy of a Per Mertesacker header.
Wilshere, 21, has recently been side-lined with an ankle injury, but has made 31 appearances for the Gunners and England this season, having returned from a 15 month lay-off in October. Although Arsenal are still chasing a top four finish and Champions League football next season, Wenger admits that he must be cautious in how often he deploys his influential midfielder so soon after another injury.
"He has a bit [of pain] after the game but I just felt we had to stop him because of inflammation last time and I just felt to give him three games in six days would be too much," Wenger told the club's official website.
"Now he has a break until next Sunday and that is different so he will be available. There is no basic ankle problem.
"I do not want to go into a vicious circle again when I play him, I play him and then suddenly... I think coming back after six weeks out, two games in a week was enough."
Arsenal will welcome Manchester United to the Emirates next Sunday, by which time Sir Alex Ferguson's side may have already been crowned champions. Should United beat Aston Villa at Old Trafford on Monday evening, they will travel to north London with their 20th league title already sealed, leaving them to receive the guard of honour from Wenger's side.
Such an occasion would also mark Robin van Persie's first return to the Emirates following his £24 million move to Old Trafford last summer. The Dutchman left the Gunners last August in a bid to secure more silverware, and it would be sufficiently poignant should his first return to his old stomping ground be as a newly crowned Premier League winner.