Theo Walcott ruled out of England World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Montenegro

The forward will be sidelined for up to 10 days

Theo Walcott has been ruled out of England's World Cup double-header with a groin strain, Press Association Sport understands.

Walcott suffered the injury in training last night and will fly back to England, where he will be assessed by his club Arsenal.

It is anticipated the winger will be sidelined for between seven and 10 days.

It had been anticipated the 24-year-old would start tonight's encounter with San Marino.

Instead, he will miss both that game, and Tuesday's crucial trip to Montenegro.

In addition, he is a doubt for Arsenal's Premier League encounter with Reading at the Emirates Stadium on March 30.

The Football Association has yet to comment on Walcott's injury, although manager Roy Hodgson is expected to do so prior to this evening's game.

Walcott's Arsenal team-mate Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is tipped to play instead.

There have also been some suggestions skipper Steven Gerrard will be amongst those who are rested for tonight's game against a side who have secured just one victory in their entire history.

Ashley Cole and Glen Johnson are other members of what constitutes Hodgson's first choice side whom it is said will not start.

However, Wayne Rooney is thought likely to play, along with Manchester United team-mate Tom Cleverley, who has been ever-present throughout England's qualification campaign so far.

Joleon Lescott and Jermain Defoe are also set to be included, even though the pair are a booking away from serving a one-match ban.

Follow all the action from tonight's match LIVE by clicking here.

PA

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