Wenger cautious over Wilshere ankle
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes Jack Wilshere's troublesome ankle will eventually settle down - but does sometimes wonder if he is taking a "gamble" on the fitness of the England midfielder.
Wilshere will be assessed ahead of Saturday's Barclays Premier League trip to Crystal Palace after being substituted during the second half of the midweek Champions League defeat to Borussia Dortmund.
The 21-year-old had earlier caused some concern when he pulled up after jarring his ankle when running through on goal.
Wenger, though, believes with careful management Wilshere can maintain his fitness levels in this World Cup season following a frustrating spell on the sidelines which scuppered hopes of playing at both Euro 2012 and the London Olympics.
"He played Saturday and on Tuesday, so it is difficult for us to find the right rhythm for him," said Wenger.
"Before when I always played him, people say I overplayed him. Now I try to be a bit more cautious.
"It is difficult because his ankle is up and down a little bit.
"Jack is getting better, but it is still inflamed sometimes and responds sometimes to games, but after that it goes down again and is normal.
"I think he will go through this period of stabilisation.
"It is going upwards, but sometimes you wonder do I take a gamble or not?
"I do what the medical people recommend with him because I am not a specialist. They are quite positive about him."
Arsenal tackle the managerless Eagles - who parted company with Ian Holloway following the 4-1 home defeat by Fulham on Monday night - looking to consolidate their place at the top of the table.
Next week, the Gunners host Chelsea in the Capital One Cup before games against Liverpool and Manchester United as well as the return European trip to Dortmund.
It is a run of fixtures which Wenger accepts will test the genuine potential of what his squad can achieve this season.
"Yes, it is a step up. It (the challenge) is for us to be at the level now of these games coming up, and I am quite confident," the Arsenal boss said.
"I think we have learned against Dortmund - even though we have lost. There were a lot of positives in that game, because we controlled them quite well, against a team who went in a convincing way into the final last year.
"That performance should, despite the disappointment, give us belief."