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Arsene Wenger Provides Theo Walcott Injury Update – Setback?
Arsene Wenger was in front of the media on Thursday giving his pre-match press conference ahead of tomorrow’s huge clash with Manchester City and among the various topics discussed, the boss also gave an update on the fitness of Theo Walcott.
The 25-year-old hasn’t featured since rupturing his cruciate ligament against Tottenham back in January and Arsene claimed on the 26th August that Theo would be back in full training after the international break.
He told Arsenal.com last month:
Theo is doing well but we will respect the timing [of his return]. The timing is end of the month to join in again, after the international break I think he will be in full training.
So everything looked like it was going smoothly and Arsene’s comments led to reports suggesting Walcott would play a couple of games for the under-21′s before making a possible first team comeback against Tottenham at the end of September.
However, Theo poured cold water over this idea earlier this week when he told journalists there was no chance he’d be fit to face Spurs on the 27th:
“I haven’t put a specific date or looked at a game yet.”
“I think there was rumours of me coming back for the Spurs game [on September 27], which is definitely not going to happen, that’s for sure. But I’ll definitely be there for the one in February.” Source: Mirror
Arsene also revealed yesterday that Theo is still two to three weeks away from joining in full training. The boss told Arsenal.com on Thursday:
Walcott is two to three weeks away from joining full training.
There has clearly been a change in tact here and his return to full training has been put back by a couple of weeks. Does this indicate Theo’s suffered any sort of minor set-back, or are the staff just being extra cautious? It’s difficult to know for sure but let’s hope they are just playing it safe after such a serious injury.
We know Theo is back on the training pitch, because we’ve seen plenty of photo’s of him over the past week, but it seems he’s not yet ready to take on a full training schedule yet.
Let’s assume he returns to full training in just over two weeks on the 29th September, he’s then going to need at least another couple of weeks to get fully match sharp before he’s considered for selection.
There’s very little chance he’ll be rushed back to face Chelsea on the 5th October, so we could be looking at the Hull game on the 18th before we see Theo in the first team. Considering he was injured on the 4th January, that would make it well over 10 months on the sidelines which is a hell of a long time to be without such an important player.
Fingers crossed the rest of Theo’s recovery goes well and he’s back in the squad as quickly as possible because he’s going to be a huge asset when he eventually returns….