Already trudging their way through a disappointing start to the season, Arsenal may have been dealt a debilitating blow, as star striker Theo Walcott had to leave Saturday's fixture with Fulham with an injury to his glute.
Though the full severity of the injury is not known, Gunners manager Arsene Wenger said that Walcott's status for England's upcoming friendly against Sweden is up in the air, according to The Mirror:
We nearly took him off at half-time, he nearly went down, but we left him on and on.
In the end, it got worse and worse. At the moment, he is limping so I do not know whether he will be able to join the national team or not.
UPDATE: Tuesday, November 20 at 9:42 a.m. ET
Arsene Wenger has been dealt a major new injury blow after Theo Walcott was ruled out of Arsenal's crunch Champions League game with Montpellier.
Walcott injured a shoulder in the North London derby against Tottenham and was today sent for a scan after missing training.
Arsenal boss Wenger said: 'The only player who will miss tomorrow's game is Walcott. The injury he got during the game with his shoulder, we have to scan that today and see if there is no damage. He will be out for tomorrow. It should be short-term.'
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UPDATE: Sunday, November 11 at 4:55 p.m. ET by Timothy Rapp
At least one question on Walcott's status can be answered—he will not play for England in the friendly against Sweden. From Sam Wallace of The Independent:
Wayne Rooney, Theo Walcott, Jonjo Shelvey, Kyle Walker and Aaron Lennon all out England squad for Sweden friendly— Sam Wallace (@SamWallaceIndy) November 11, 2012
Walcott has been in fine form of late, so the Gunners will certainly hope he will be available this Saturday against hated rivals Tottenham.
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For Arsenal, losing Walcott for an extended period of time could leave the team bereft. After a 3-3 draw with Fulham on Saturday, the Gunners sit seventh in the Premier League table with 16 points. That puts them already 11 points behind first-place Manchester United and four points behind Everton for a qualifying spot in the Champions League.
The root cause of those struggles has been an inability to score goals. Arsenal have scored multiple goals just four times in 11 matches all season, as the team has struggled to replace last season's leading scorer Robin Van Persie.
While Walcott has not been at full strength for most of the season, he seemed to be rounding into shape lately. At just 23 years old, he's widely seen as one of the Premier League's best young strikers and a guy who could become one of the world's best down the line.
Nevertheless, if the injury proves to be long-term, it could prevent Walcott's ascent this season. Be sure to check back in as we give you the latest updates on the Arsenal star's injured glute.