Arsene Wenger has backed Jack Wilshere to make his comeback for Arsenal and England before the end of the season, as the midfielder targets this summer's European Championships.
Wilshere, 20, has not featured at all this term after he underwent ankle surgery in the summer.
But the Arsenal manager revealed Wilshere has resumed training following a setback in February and remains hopeful he could play again before the end of the season.
"The last scan was good and he can start to jog again so he is on the way back - but we have to be very cautious with him," Wenger is quoted in the Daily Mirror.
"I hope to have him back before the end of the season, but we go step by step."
Wilshere suffered the ankle injury during England's Euro 2012 qualifier against Switzerland in June. Initial reports suggested the Arsenal midfielder would be ready for the start of the season but a setback during the Emirates Cup tournament at the end of July revealed a stress fracture in his right ankle.
Although Wilshere's return may have little impact on Arsenal's bid for a top-four finish it would be a major boost to England ahead of this summer's European Championship finals in Poland and Ukraine.