Jack Wilshere has not played a minute of competitive football since breaking a leg in April and more than a year has passed since he last appeared for Arsenal but he is back in the squad for the Europa League.
Don't try telling Wilshere the competition is a waste of time as he prepares for Cologne and Arsene Wenger compares the psychological impact of injuries on footballers to motorists in a car crash.
'Some just come back like nothing happened to them, some are traumatised for their whole life,' said Wenger, when asked about the lingering effects of serious injuries.
Jack Wilshere in line for a start when Arsenal open their Europa League campaign on Thursday
'It is like you have a car accident, some don't want to drive anymore and some take the car and go on again. It is depends on the personality of people.'
Wilshere has courage and strength of personality on his side and, although his career has been ravaged, his manager refuses to give up on the 25-year-old midfielder.
'The disadvantage is that he was out of the game for a long time but there are advantages as well,' said Wenger.
Wilshere hasn't played for Arsenal in 13 months, spending last season on loan at Bournemouth
Jack Wilshere made his last first-team appearance for Arsenal over a year ago, in their 3-1 Premier League win at Watford on August 27 last year.
He replaced Mesut Ozil with 20 minutes left, with the Gunners already 3-1 ahead thanks to goals from Santi Cazorla, Alexis Sanchez and Ozil.
Wilshere was loaned out to Bournemouth a few days later.
'Because he knows his body well, he has become very professional and learnt how much time it takes to get back to his best so he is more patient.'
Wenger is convinced Wilshere can recapture performances such as the one against Barcelona in February 2011 when, at the age of 19, he carried Arsenal's fight with a display to fire the imagination.
'You have certainly seen the video of him when we played Barcelona,' said the Arsenal boss.
'His game is about that. He needs a little burst to get away from people because he can turn the game forward and if you can turn the game forward you need your legs to get you out of pressure.
Wilshere last played for Arsenal in 3-1 Premier League win at Watford on August 27 last year
'If he is injury-free he will come back. It is coming back in training. He is hungry and sharp. Not completely at his best but getting there. He enjoys being back, competing for his place and what I see in