The father of Theo Walcott has revealed he thought his son was joking when he told him he had been ruled out for the rest of the season and will miss the World Cup in Brazil.
It emerged yesterday that the Arsenal forward's knee injury is much more serious than first thought. The 24-year-old will play no part in the rest of Arsenal's campaign and he is not expected to be ready to challenge for a place in Roy Hodgson's England side.
Speaking to The Sun, Walcott's father Don said: "Theo is gutted. He couldn't believe it and I think he was still in shock when he told me. I thought he was joking but it was soon obvious he wasn't."
The news of Walcott's injury will ensure his World Cup woes continue. Having been selected as a 17-year-old to go to the tournament in Germany in 2006, he failed to get a single minute under his belt. For the South Africa edition, Fabio Capello made the shock decision to leave him at home.
Since returning from an abdominal injury earlier this season, Walcott has looked in the best form of his career and it appeared he was a certainty to be included in the World Cup squad by Hodgson. However, he will now have to look to the tournament in Russia in 2018 for his first taste of World Cup action.