England manager Roy Hodgson describes injury to Arsenal forward Theo Walcott as a 'blow'

The 24-year-old is not expected to be ready for the tournament in Brazil

England manager Roy Hodgson admits the loss of Theo Walcott to a serious knee injury is a “blow” for both club and country, but is confident the Arsenal forward can “come back even stronger”.

The 24-year-old is set to be sidelined for six months after tests revealed he would need surgery following anterior cruciate ligament damage sustained when making a defensive tackle during the closing stages of the third-round FA Cup win over Tottenham at the Emirates Stadium.

Arsenal have rallied behind Walcott, who is expected to undergo an operation next week once the swelling on his left knee has eased, with messages of support flooding in from fans and fellow professionals alike.

Walcott was expected to have played a key role for England at the World Cup in Brazil, which begins in June.

As a teenager the former Southampton starlet was a surprise call-up for the 2006 finals in Germany by Sven-Goran Eriksson, but did not get onto the pitch. Then, he was left out by Fabio Capello for the squad went to South Africa four years ago.

Current England manager Hodgson hopes Walcott has a successful recovery.

"I spoke with Theo and just wanted to express my disappointment to him," Hodgson told http://www.TheFA.com.

"It is a blow for him personally of course, and for both Arsenal and England.

"We had quite a lengthy conversation and it is such a shame that we have lost a player of his calibre for the World Cup, he has been incredibly unfortunate and we wish him a speedy recovery."

Hodgson added: "Having worked with him for two years as England manager I know the character he has, and I know he will come back even stronger from this setback."

Arsenal full-back Carl Jenkinson, meanwhile, offered his own words of encouragement for his team-mate.

"If anybody is going to come back better and stronger, it is Theo. He is incredibly focused and mentally he is a very strong character," Jenkinson told http://www.Arsenal.com.

"Theo will be fine, I have no doubts about that. I am disappointed that we have lost him for the rest of the season because he is a massive player for us and brings us something unique.

"It is tough to see one of your friends out for a long period of time.

"You wouldn't wish it on anybody and it is probably the worst news we have had all season."

Jenkinson added: "He had only just come back from a previous injury and had been scoring goals for fun, so from both points of view it it terrible news.

"But Theo is a very strong guy and while it may take a bit of time to take it all in, he will just get on with things and fingers crossed the time flies by, for his sake and for ours."

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own
Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England