Theo Walcott: Arsenal forward targets pre-season return after World Cup injury heartbreak

England winger tells of devastation at being sidelined for this summer's tournament

Injured Arsenal forward Theo Walcott is targeting a return to action in time for the Gunners’ pre-season campaign this summer.

The winger was ruled out for the rest of this season after sustaining cruciate ligament damage during an FA Cup game against Tottenham Hotspur in January.

The severity of the injury means he will miss England’s World Cup campaign in Brazil.

But speaking on Sky Sports, Walcott dismissed fears that a bleak prognosis would keep him out for the start of next season.

“It’s coming along well,” he said. “It’s a long, tedious treatment. I’m not looking to put months on it and I’ll keep working week by week. I’m hopeful that I will be involved for some part of pre-season.”

Walcott also revealed his devastation at being ruled out of the World Cup.

 

The winger was expected to be a key man in Roy Hodgson’s squad following his excellent early-season form.

But having been unused when he was controversially selected for the 2006 tournament at just 17 years old by Sven-Goran Eriksson, and left out by Fabio Capello four years later, Walcott’s unlucky run of never having played at the global showpiece is set to continue.

“At the start, it was difficult to hear the news of what had happened [with the injury],” he admitted. “It hit me quite a lot, but you just need to get on with it, life is too short.”

And Walcott, who will be 29 when Russia 2018 comes around, says he has not given up hope of one day fulfilling his World Cup dream.

“I’m still young, my time will come,” he said.

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