Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 26 November 2014

Stomach surgery sidelines Walcott

Theo Walcott's injury is a blow for Arsenal and England
Theo Walcott's injury is a blow for Arsenal and England

Arsenal winger Theo Walcott has been ruled out for three weeks because he needs stomach surgery.

Walcott was withdrawn from the Arsenal XI to face Stoke last weekend after feeling pain in his stomach, and the Gunners confirmed that he needs surgery.

Walcott will miss England's crunch qualifiers against Montenegro and Poland as well as Arsenal's games against West Brom, Swansea and Napoli.

An Arsenal statement read: "Theo Walcott will have a minor procedure on his abdomen in Germany on Wednesday which will keep him out of action until after the next international break."

Walcott's injury is a blow for Arsenal, who have come to rely on the winger even more this season following the absence of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Santi Cazorla and Lukas Podolski.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger hopes to have the 24-year-old back for the game against Norwich on October 19, however.

Wenger said: "Theo will be out for a few weeks. He has developed some damage to his posterior abdominal wall. It's not a hernia, but it's a little structural problem in his abdomen.

"He will have the procedure in Germany on Wednesday and, because it's so minor, we can begin his rehab immediately. We are pleased it's being dealt with quickly and he shouldn't miss too many Arsenal matches. But he will miss the forthcoming international matches with England."

Walcott's injury is arguably of bigger importance to England, however.

Walcott has become an instrumental part of Roy Hodgson's starting XI of late, starting the last five games for the Three Lions.

England need to win their final two qualifiers against Montenegro and Poland next month to guarantee qualification for Rio 2014.

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Nightlife galleries

More

Latest Sport News

Stats Centre