Arsene Wenger believes Theo Walcott should return to full training by the end of next month, with a view to be involved with the first team shortly after.
The Gunners forward suffered a cruciate knee ligament injury in January after a starring performance up front against rivals Tottenham Hotspur in the FA Cup, his season ended and with it a long road to recovery ahead.
There seems to be a light at the end of the tunnel now for the 25-year-old, who stepped up his recovery recently and could be involved in full training at the end of August.
The Arsenal boss told Arsenal’s official website:
He’s progressing very well. He’s worked very hard during the summer and we expect him to be back in full training at the end of August.
Retuning to full training is one thing, but regaining match fitness and sharpness is another, in preparation to play a part in fixtures once again.
Wenger believes the strengthening and conditioning Walcott is undergoing should stand him in good stead for a quick return once he links up with his teammates.
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The Frenchman was asked how long it will take for Theo to be involved in the team, in which he responded:
That’s difficult to predict. Once he’s back in full training it can be very quick. He has a good basis, which is what he’s working on now.
The signs are positive for a full recovery in the early stages of the season for Walcott, who cruelly missed out on the vital season run-in last campaign. There is no need to rush him back which places Wenger in a comfortable situation. New signing Alexis Sanchez is a readymade replacement for Theo while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will be eager to be involved when he returns to training shortly.
The Gunners manager gave an insight to how his attack may lineup against Crystal Palace on August 16th, with Sanchez operating on the right in place of Theo. Not a bad position to be in huh?
The important thing for Theo is to ease his way into a return and come back fit as ever for the promising season ahead. It’s going to be a long campaign.