Theo Walcott to miss start of next season

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Arsenal star Theo Walcott's recovery from injury will see him miss the start of next season, never mind the World Cup with England.

Walcott ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament in the FA Cup third round victory over Tottenham Hotspur in January, which ruled him out for the remainder of the Premier League season and meant he would miss the World Cup this summer. He insisted trying to speed up his recovery for Brazil was never in his mind and that he was only interested in making a full a safe comeback, though the projection for his comeback appeared much later than most expected.

"I'm not pushing myself to be fit for the World Cup or anything like that. I want to be back quickly of course, but safely too," he told the official Arsenal programme for their clash with Newcastle United on Monday night.

"I want to try and be back for the early part of next season. That's the goal so there will be a lot of hard work throughout the summer and during the World Cup."

Arsene Wenger has sorely missed Walcott since he was stretchered off against Spurs, as he became one of a number of long-term injuries to first choice players. The Gunners also lost the England international's incredible pace on the right and have struggled to get behind defences in his absence.

Despite the long recovery period, the 25-year-old was positive in the progress he is making to get back in to the first team at the level he was at before the injury. Such long-term injuries are also known to be a psychological struggle for many players, but Walcott is taking an optimistic approach to being out of action for so long.

"It's nearly been four months now and my recovery has gone on track so far. At the moment, I'm working on muscle strength and building muscle in my quad. I've got a lot of the flexion back and I'm always working on extension," he added.

"A lot of the days are very similar but the four months have gone really quickly. I don't see any point in being down in the dumps about the injury because it’s already happened and there are a lot of people with worse problems in the world."

It was a cruel blow for the winger as he had not long been back after recovering from an abdominal injury and was in good form. He had only scored five goals in the Premier League, but they had come in just nine starts and he was developing a useful understanding with fellow attacker Olivier Giroud.

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Theo Walcott
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