English Premiership

Ox and Cazorla closing in on return

Jack Wilshere (Supplied)
Jack Wilshere (Supplied)
Cape Town - Winger Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and midfielder Santi Cazorla could resume full training with the Arsenal squad next week, manager Arsene Wenger said.

Cazorla, who has not played since the end of November, was expected to return from a knee problem in March, but the Spaniard suffered an injury setback when he hurt his Achilles. Oxlade-Chamberlain has been out with a knee injury since February.

"Next week they (Chamberlain and Cazorla) will be back maybe, they are not back in full training yet. They are still on fitness work," Wenger told the club's website (www.arsenal.com).

England midfielder Jack Wilshere is ready to take another step towards making his first Arsenal appearance of the season after Wenger revealed the 24-year-old emerged unscathed from Friday's under-21 victory over Derby County.

Long-serving midfielder Tomas Rosicky, together with Wilshere, will be involved in Thursday's under-21 clash against Swansea City.

"Jack and Tomas are playing today for the under-21s. They have had no reaction from last Friday's game and they look all right," Wenger said.

Arsenal, who are third in the Premier League, will host 16th-placed Crystal Palace at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.

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