Pioneering Belgium surgeons have offered Theo Walcott a small chance of hope after finding a new way to operate on the his injured anterior cruciate ligaments, according to Sky Sports.
Professor Johan Bellmans and his colleague Dr Steven Claes are said to have found a way of operating successfully on the ACL, with reduced recovery time. Previously some patients had suffered further damage other surgeons were unaware of.
Speaking in an interview with Sky Sports, Professor Bellmans said. "When somebody tears his ACL then undergoes surgery we know 10%-20% of patients continue to have some form of instability.
"That is illogical because we have fixed what's broken so therefore we were convinced there had to be another structure which was also damaged but which remained unprepared so far."
Issues with the ACL is one of the most damaging to footballers, leaving them out for a prolonged period of time. There are currently a host of professional players side-lined with the injury, including Walcott's Arsenal team mate Abou Diaby.
The work carried out by the pioneering Belgian duo offers a small ray of hope that Walcott could finally participate in a World Cup, after being taken in 2006 and not being played and missing out on the final squad in 2010.
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