Wilshere back with England squad for Sweden friendly
LONDON (AP) -Jack Wilshere is back in the England squad for the friendly next week against Sweden after being out of contention since last year because of various injuries.
The Arsenal midfielder was called up Thursday despite club manager Arsene Wenger urging caution about how the midfielder is used because he has only just returned to action.
Although Wilshere's last England appearance was against Switzerland in June 2011, he is seen as vital to England's hopes of qualifying and progressing well at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Captain Steven Gerrard is meanwhile due to make his 100th England appearance in Stockholm on Wednesday.
Everton midfielder Leon Osman will be hoping to win his first cap at the age of 31 after being called up by coach Roy Hodgson for the first time.
"He's always done extremely well whenever I've played Everton or watched Everton,'' said Hodgson, who managed Fulham, Liverpool and West Bromwich Albion before getting the England job. "Of course, he's faced great competition in the position that he plays, but on this occasion we've got the opportunity and the space to bring Leon into the team.''
Forwards Jermain Defoe and Andy Carroll weren't included as Hodgson is using the friendly to look at other options, with Daniel Sturridge and Danny Welbeck joining Wayne Rooney as the striking options.
Hodgson also plans to call up Arsenal defender Carl Jenkinson if FIFA clearance is received, given that he previously played in Finland's youth ranks.
"We do believe that they are going to grant that clearance within a day or two,'' Hodgson said. "So by next Wednesday, he will be clear to play. He wants to play for England and has made that clear.''
There is plenty of competition in the full back slots, though, with Glen Johnson, Kyle Walker, Leighton Baines and Ryan Bertrand also in the squad.
Goalkeeper Fraser Forster, who impressed in Celtic's 2-1 win over Barcelona on Wednesday, will hope to make his debut if first-choice Joe Hart only plays one half in Sweden. John Ruddy from Norwich is also in the squad.