Arsenal’s Theo Walcott will be out for six months with a knee injury he sustained in Saturday’s FA Cup third round win against Tottenham.
Widespread reports in Monday’s newspapers suggested Walcott would face a lengthy spell on the sidelines after he was stretchered off following his impressive performance as Arsenal’s lead forward, filling in for the injured duo of Olivier Giroud and Nicklas Bendtner. However it was not expected that he would miss the season and possibly the summer's World Cup.
A statement on the Arsenal website read: "After coming off injured in Saturday's 2-0 win against Tottenham Hotspur, the Club regrettably announces that Theo Walcott has sustained a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament of his left knee. Theo will have surgery in London in the near future and is expected to be out for at least six months, therefore missing the remainder of the season and the World Cup in Brazil in the summer.
"Everyone at Arsenal wishes Theo a speedy recovery and we look forward to seeing him back on a football pitch as soon as possible."
After the game, Arsene Wenger had said: “Theo has a knee problem. We don’t know if it is a stretched ligament or just a kick, he got two kicks on his knee.
“We still have [Lukas] Podolski and [Mesut] Ozil on the bench. [Olivier] Giroud was sick, he was not injured, so for the next game he should be available. Of course if we lose Theo for a longer period, it is a problem.”
Bendtner is also expected to be out for around a month after injuring his ankle against Cardiff on New Year’s Day, leaving Arsenal alarming short of striking options heading into a condensed period of action that will include crucial Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League games.