24 Oct 2014

Wenger not ready to risk Theo Walcott

Theo Walcott will play no part in Arsenal’s Premier League clash with Sunderland on Saturday, but he will be involved next week.

Walcott suffered cruciate knee ligament damage in Arsenal’s FA Cup win over Tottenham in January, but returned to training earlier this month.

Having turned out for the Arsenal Under-21s last week, it was thought he would be available for the trip to the Stadium of Light, but Wenger has confirmed it will be next week before he is ready to make his first-team return.
“I’m not sure to involve him tomorrow. Certainly next week,” Wenger told reporters at his pre-match press conference.

“He has to get used to contact again. He has been out for nine months and it was a big injury. It takes a bit of time to settle and get used to be kicked again.

“He has a game that exposes him. He needs to feel he is completely confident. But he is not far. Fitness-wise, he is there to play a part in the game. On the contact front I think he needs a bit more time.

“For what he has gone through in the last nine months then you gain more respect for him because he has had some difficult times and he has responded positively. He has done extremely well.”
Arsenal will also be without midfielder Jack Wilshere for the trip to Sunderland because the England international is suspended.


Credit: Michelle/SetantaSport

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