Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger will not rush Jack Wilshere back into the first-team squad following a broken leg.
The England midfielder sustained the injury during pre-season and has not played a competitive match for the Gunners since the 2015 FA Cup final.
The 24-year-old has stepped up his recovery over recent weeks and completed 90 minutes for the Gunners’ Under-21 side as they lost 3-1 to their Swansea counterparts on Thursday night.
Wilshere now appears to be closing in on a first-team return but Wenger is refusing to rush him back into action, stating he will not consider playing him in Sunday’s match against Crystal Palace.
Wenger said: “Wilshere and Tomas Rosicky played for the Under-21s but Wilshere needs one more game at least.”
The Frenchman admitted Wilshere could return to action against West Brom at the Emirates Stadium on Thursday, as long as he comes through another Under-21 match.
Wenger added: “He will play for the Under-21s on Monday night and I will have to see how he is compared to his competitors. Once he is through three or four games of course we will consider him.”
Arsenal are currently third in the Premier League and will need a few more wins during the final six matches of the campaign to be assured of a top-three finish.
The north London club are available at 1.33 to secure victory against Palace on home soil, while the Eagles are 9.00 and the draw is 5.25.