Theo Walcott says he’s happy to be back after featuring for the Arsenal under-21’s yesterday but admits it will take some time before he can play for the first team.
Theo ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament in January and yesterday was the first step in his comeback. He played for 45 minutes alongside Gnabry and Diaby against Blackburn in an Under-21 game.
Walcott thanked the Arsenal medical staff for helping him in his recovery and says it has been a hard period for him.
It was good, nice to get a little blow out, it’s a been a hard, long, nine months, and first I’ve gotta say a massive thank you to all the Arsenal medical team because without them I wouldn’t have been able to do what I’ve done.
I’ve had so much support right from the start so it’s nice to go out there and kick a ball. It’s not just a job, it’s something I’ve enjoyed doing and I’ve really missed it.
Walcott also admitted that he could not return ‘overnight’ and left the decision up to the manager:
I think it’s important to recover and I have to be a bit patient. The manager will choose to play [me] when he wants and it’s not something that’s going to happen overnight. I need to just be calm and not get too excited right now.
Walcott’s return is a big boost, however it’s important that we don’t rush him back to the first team before he is fully ready. It’s not as if we don’t have options on the right and the Ox has been in good touch lately. Welcome back Theo!