Walcott out for three months with shoulder blow
Arsenal winger Theo Walcott is set for a long spell on the sidelines after dislocating his shoulder with England on Tuesday evening.
"He dislocated his shoulder during training, he will be out for at least three months," his manager Arsene Wenger told French TV channel TF1 while commentating on a friendly between France and Uruguay at the Stade de France.
The injury ruled Walcott out of Wednesday evening's friendly with Germany at Berlin's Olympiastadion, but it is not the first time Walcott has been laid low with shoulder problems.
In fact the Arsenal player injured his left shoulder just three weeks ago during the defeat away to Stoke and had surgery in the summer of 2007 to address persistent shoulder injuries and Wenger is sure to be far from impressed at losing such an important player at key time in the season.
The winger will miss Premier League games against Manchester City, Chelsea and Wigan, as well as group stage games against Dynamo Keiv and FC Porto in the Champions League and may not be fully fit until well into the new year.
Along with Sir Alex Ferguson and Rafael Benitez, Wenger has never made any secret of his belief friendly internationals are a meaningless inclusion in a packed club scene.
And in the immediate aftermath of his side's defeat by Aston Villa on Saturday, he again outlined his opposition to this week's matches.
''It is particularly not welcome at the moment because it is at a period where you want your players to recover a little bit,'' he said. ''I don't see what you gain from this friendly because there is no game. You can explain a friendly to prepare for an official match but after this there is no international game for four months.''
And, as he digests the news of Walcott's injury while on international duty, Wenger will know Arsenal are the ones who will suffer most.
With a raft of senior players already missing through injury, including Emmanuel Eboue, Tomas Rosicky and Eduardo da Silva, the loss of Walcott is just another name added to that list.