After sustaining a season-ending knee injury in January in the FA Cup against Spurs, Theo Walcott knows what it is like to be stuck on the sidelines, unable to play the game you love.
That is the exact agony that French forward Olivier Giroud is currently going through, after suffering a serious injury in the closing stages of the Premier League clash against Everton last month, only minutes after scoring the equalizer in a 2-2 draw.
Since then Giroud has had surgery on his left tibia, but is set to be ruled out of action for the foreseeable future, the worst feeling for any professional footballer.
25-year-old Walcott can undoubtedly empathize with his teammate, having gone through exactly the same recovery process. Thankfully the England international is now nearing a return to first team action, and he has backed Giroud to return from his own injury woes as a stronger player.
Walcott, who missed the World Cup with his injury, told Arsenal’s official website:
I’ve been through a long injury myself now so I’ve said to him, ‘If there’s anything down the line you need to talk to me about from the rehab side of it, from the family side, anything, I’m there for you’.
I’m just a phone call away and he comes in anyway in the afternoons so I’m always there to see him.
It was such an innocuous thing that happened. But you’ve got to think when you get injured that it’s a good opportunity to work on something and Oli’s got all the attributes to [do that].
He’s a very good athlete and he can be even stronger when he comes back from this, and that’s what I said, which he appreciated. He’s a great guy.
Giroud will be a major miss for Arsenal over the coming months, but one good piece of news is that Walcott is close to his own return, and Arsenal fans will be hoping that the winger can return to the excellent form that he held before his knee injury.