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England manager Roy Hodgson is hopeful Manchester United defender Luke Shaw and Arsenal's Jack Wilshere will be fit in time for the summer's European Championships despite their limited appearances this season. Shaw suffered a double-broken leg in the Champions League in September 2015 while Wilshere has not played at all this season after breaking his leg in training in August.
Neither player has returned to full training and there is no timeline regarding their return – however they remain firmly in Hodgson's plans. Louis van Gaal has set Shaw the target of being fit in time to play in the Europa League final while Wilshere will return to running in the next few weeks according to Arsene Wenger.
The 20-year-old Shaw endured an injury-ravaged first season at United but before his injury had established himself as first choice at left-back under Hodgson, starting the Euro 2016 qualifiers against San Marino and Switzerland in September 2015. Wilshere played just twice for his country in 2015, but scored a double against Slovenia after another season with Arsenal was dominated by fitness issues.
"In terms of the March fixtures we are going to be missing one of two players," Hodgson said, according to The Mirror. "We are still monitoring Luke Shaw, who is making good progress, and we are monitoring Jack Wilshere, who is also making very good progress. But we have to accept in March we won't have those players. But hopefully in May, when I have to make a decision, they will be available for selection."
Hodgson began preparing for the summer in February when 40 players who had represented England across the last 12 months met at St George's Park to look ahead to the tournament where Russia, Wales and Slovakia represent their group stage opposition. Wilshere was invited to the meet-up despite not playing for Arsenal this season but Shaw remained with United to continue his recovery.
Despite the absence of the United and Arsenal players, who are among a host of England stars currently out injured including captain Wayne Rooney, Hodgson says the planning session was very valuable. England face Germany and Netherlands in friendlies in March.
"I was delighted with it, first of all I was delighted to see the players again, delighted that everyone invited was able to turn up apart for two on the actual day were taken for medical examinations otherwise they would have been there," Hodgson added.
"That gave me enormous pleasure. I enjoyed meeting the players and having a chance to exchange a few words and then in the actual content was basically around a review of the principles we have been working on in the two years since the World Cup in terms of our aims and philosophies and what we try to do with and without the ball.
"And then of course to give them a chance to participate in that because I did a review of our general principles and then we outlined in some clips some instances which could be interesting to get their feedback on in the latter part of the evening. A little bit of information going ahead but it was basically on what we have been doing and what we will try to do going forward in terms of our football and not very much on our plans for the Euros."