Arsene Wenger has confirmed that Jack Wilsherewill play for Arsenal Under-21s at West Bromwich Albion on Monday afternoon.
The England international has been out for 14 months with ankle and knee injuries, but returned to full training last week.
Now the 20-year-old will take another key step in his recovery when he features for Terry Burton’s side at The Hawthorns next week.
“He will play on Monday, he will play his first game with the under-21s, maybe an hour or something like that,” Wenger said.
“It's another important step but he has not played for 14 months so we have to calm your [the media’s] impatience a little bit.
“It is fantastic for him. When you are at that age and are out for such a long time, it is absolutely massive to take [for] him and Frimpong.
“Frimpong had two knee injuries, Jack had two setbacks. It is massive for them to come back and for us as well.”
Wenger wants Wilshere to make a steady return to action, and does not think it would be beneficial for him to play in next month’s England double header against San Marino and Poland.
“I think that will be too early for him,” he said. “He has not played for 14 months.”