Arsenal's Jack Wilshere is feeling better with every game and admits his upcoming one-match ban may actually be beneficial as he continues his return from long-term injury.
The England international will miss Saturday's clash with Fulham after being sent off in last weekend's 2-1 defeat at Manchester United - something the midfielder is trying to see in a positive light. The England international played his first 90 minutes for the first team on Tuesday night in the Champions League where the Gunners drew 2-2 with Schalke.
"I am gutted to miss Fulham after being out for so long," Wilshere said. "It's disappointing to miss any game but if I think about it another way, maybe it will be good for me to have a little break and come back for the Tottenham game [a week later]."
Tuesday night was Wilshere's third game in 11 days after missing the whole of last season with niggling ankle and knee problems, which ruled him out of both Euro 2012 and the London Olympics.
He added: "It is difficult [to be out for so long] for any player and especially for me - I was 19 and just breaking into the footballing world and coming into the team. I'd had a good season and was looking to push on next season.
"To have a setback like that was heartbreaking but now I'm back. Last night, I felt better than I did over the weekend and the weekend before that, so I am feeling better after each game. It's a long season, so I need to take it easy a bit but I am looking forward."
The draw in Germany came courtesy of first-half goals from Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud. The former was making his first start in the Premier or Champions League since late August - a period out of the team that coincided with contract talks stalling.
Walcott's current deal expires at the end of the season and Wilshere hopes he stays on at the Emirates Stadium.
"Theo has been great," he said. "His future is down to him and the boss to sort out. I hope he does sign. He has been great for us. He's an English lad and great to have around."
The result in Germany means Schalke continue to lead the group and remain a point ahead of Arsenal, with both teams able to secure qualification on matchday five.