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Football - Arsenal forward Theo Walcott out of World Cup

2014-01-06 20:40:22

Theo Walcott

Arsenal's Theo Walcott will miss the World Cup after being ruled out for at least six months with a knee injury.

The England forward, 24, suffered the injury during the 2-0 FA Cup win over Tottenham on Saturday.

An Arsenal statement read:  "Theo has sustained a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament of his left knee.

"He will have surgery in the near future and is expected to be out for at least six months, thus missing the rest of the season and the World Cup."

The World Cup starts on 12 June, with England's first match against Italy two days later.

Walcott has been capped 36 times by the Three Lions, scoring five goals, with England winning 27 of those matches, drawing seven and losing just twice.

He made his England senior debut as a substitute for Michael Owen in a friendly against Hungary on 30 May 2006, making him England's youngest ever player at 17 years and 75 days.

Aged 17, he was a surprise selection by Sven Goran-Eriksson for the 2006 World Cup but failed to make the cut for Fabio Capello's party to travel to South Africa in 2010 before re-establishing himself under the Italian and earning selection for Euro 2012.

Walcott's injury comes as a significant blow to club and country on the same day the Football Association said they would take no further action against him over his gesture to Tottenham fans as he was carried from the field during Saturday's FA Cup tie.

The forward did not appear to be in severe pain as he was carried off during Arsenal's win on Saturday, signalling the 2-0 scoreline to Spurs' supporters.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger had said Walcott was reacting to having coins thrown at him.

The forward missed two months of the season with a stomach injury and has scored five Premier League goals since returning in November.

Wenger is expected to be without Denmark striker Nicklas Bendtner for all of January with an ankle injury, while France forward Olivier Giroud has missed Arsenal's last two games through a combination of illness and an ankle knock.

The Gunners lead the Premier League by a point from Manchester City, with Chelsea a point further behind. They also face Bayern Munich in the last 16 of the Champions League next month.

The Arsenal statement continued: "Everyone at Arsenal wishes Theo a speedy recovery and we look forward to seeing him back on a football pitch as soon as possible."

Source: bbc.co.uk

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