Wenger hails Walcott return

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Arsene Wenger admits it is "great" to have Theo Walcott back in contention for Sunday's FA Cup fifth-round clash with Burnley - but warned against expecting too much too soon from the England winger.

Walcott, who turns 20 later this month, has been sidelined since injuring his shoulder while on international duty during November.

"It is very important to see how he will respond with his shoulder and I think he looks to be nearly there. To have him back is great and he can be very good for us," said the Arsenal manager. "However, the difference between training and competition is different."

He added: "Theo is very fit, but after that you have to get used to tackles and go into the challenges. You have to use your arms and shoulders to resist."

The attacking impetus of Walcott has been one weapon sorely missed by Arsenal, whose title challenge has faded and they face a battle to get back into the top four of the Barclays Premier League.

However, the return of the England winger will be a welcome boost to Wenger, who also expects to have captain Cesc Fabregas available by the start of next month following a serious knee injury - which could be just in time for a potential FA Cup and Champions League semi-final.

First, though, Arsenal must overcome the challenge of Burnley, and then Hull at home in their yet-to-be-scheduled quarter-final tie, while they take a slender 1-0 lead to Roma for the second leg of their Champions League last-16 clash next week.

Wenger will not underestimate the challenge posed by the Clarets, who knocked a youthful Arsenal side out of the Carling Cup at Turf Moor in December and went on to get within minutes of causing an upset by reaching the final at the expense of Tottenham.

"It is an important game and not one we will treat lightly. We treat it with respect and focus," insisted the Arsenal manager, his side now unbeaten in 16 matches after returning to winning ways at West Brom in midweek.

Wenger added: "We know Burnley well and that they are a good side. The Championship teams are now a serious candidate in every game. They have shown that recently, and we have the experience of playing Championship teams."

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