Theo Walcott will not lose his pace, insists Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger

The England forward is expected to be out for six months

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The Independent Football

Arsene Wenger remains confident that, even after Theo Walcott’s devastating knee injury, the 24-year-old forward will not lose his famous pace.

Walcott will be out for six months after rupturing an anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee last Saturday – and will miss the World Cup this summer – but Wenger is confident that he could return next season to be as dangerous as he was before.

“Yes, I am convinced,” said Wenger. “We know deep studies show that the players around 25 with that kind of injury, they come back as normal. When you are over 30, over 29 you do not ever come back exactly the same. But between 25 and 28 you come back to the level you had before.”

Walcott has had bad injuries before and Wenger believes that he has the mentality to overcome a problem that was far worse than initially expected. “It was a big shock to him because none of us expected such a bad injury straight after the game,” Wenger said. “Theo is very strong mentally and level headed. He deals with it as well as you can do when you are confronted with these kind of situations.”

“What [Walcott] has said to me is that he is under shock but he will fight as ever to come back. He is strong mentally and if you look at his career, he has had a few setbacks, a few disappointments. He always recovered from setbacks in a very strong way. I am confident he will do so again.”

Tomas Rosicky is out of contract at the end of the season but Wenger said that he would extend his deal and stay on. “Rosicky will stay here at the end of the season. He is a marvellous player and contributes well to the team. He is certainly a typical Arsenal player in the way that he is mobile, technically sound and team orientated.”