England's Jack Wilshere to miss Euro 2012 due to injury to ankle
By Steve Douglas ,AP
April 18, 2012, 12:07 am TWN
LONDON -- Injured midfielder Jack Wilshere ruled himself out of contention for the European Championship on Monday, robbing England of one of its most creative players for the tournament in Poland and Ukraine later this year.
The 20-year-old Wilshere hasn't played at all this season after injuring his right ankle on international duty last June. Medical tests in January then showed he had a stress fracture in his right heel.
“Gutted, sad, devastated ... it's been a test mentally for me this season and it will continue to be tough until I am back out on the pitch,” Wilshere said on Twitter.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger had earlier said Wilshere won't play this season, adding that the Football Association has been informed about his club's prognosis on the player.
“My ankle is good, I just have a few niggles and having been out so long I will not be fit enough for the Euro's!” Wilshere added on Twitter.
“I hope England can do well and bring home the cup! I will be watching and cheering the boys on like a proper England fan!”
Wilshere has only played five times for England but has made such an impression that he was regarded as an integral part of the team's midfield.
It is a major blow to an England team that is still without a manager following Fabio Capello's departure in February and a full-time captain after John Terry was stripped of the armband. Terry stands trial in July for racial abuse following a confrontation with Queens Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand in October.
Wayne Rooney will also miss the first two games of the tournament, which will be co-hosted in Poland and Ukraine from June 8 to July 1, because of suspension while fellow striker Darren Bent could miss the squad because of injury.
“He is not ready to practice today or next week. He makes progress, but slow progress,” Wenger said of Wilshere. “What is for sure is he will not be ready for the end of the season and not for the Euros.
“He is devastated, and you can understand that.”
Wenger dismissed the prospect of Wilshere playing some part for Britain in the soccer tournament at the London Olympics, which start less than three weeks after Euro 2012.
“The Olympics would be the worst idea for him,” Wenger said. “When a guy has not played for a year, he needs a good preparation and a slow preparation after to start the season.
“It is not I do not want him to go to the Olympics, it is just that now he has other priorities than that.”