Arsenal face a nervy wait over the fitness of Theo Walcott after he limped out of England’s 0-0 draw at Ukraine on Tuesday.
UPDATE: Thursday, Sept. 12, at 1:15 p.m. BST
---End of update---
UPDATE: Thursday, Sept. 12, at 9:45 a.m. BST
From Sami Mokbel of the Daily Mail:
Theo Walcott and Jack Wilshere are expected to be fit for Saturday after their exertions for England in Kiev.
Wilshere was substituted midway through the second half, and Walcott limped off after a nasty challenge on his ankle from Oleksandr Kucher.
But both are expected to be available for the clash against Paolo Di Canio’s (Sunderland) side this weekend.
---End of update---
Walcott was the victim of a cynical challenge during the second half of the World Cup qualifier, as reported by Jacob Steinberg of the Guardian:
The Arsenal man actually managed to play on with the injury for 25 minutes but eventually left the field and headed straight to the team doctor.
The game had just passed the hour mark when Walcott ran beyond defender Olexandr Kucher, who cynically slid in to rake his studs down the back of the Englishman’s ankle.
Roy Hodgson immediately readied Ashley Young as a replacement, but the Manchester United man instead came on for Jack Wilshere, as Walcott attempted to run off the injury.
Such was the winger’s importance to Hodgson’s counter-attacking tactics that Walcott played on until the 86th minute, when he was eventually replaced by Tom Cleverley.
Still the Arsenal man did not look comfortable, heading down the tunnel to raise question marks over his availability for the Gunners when Premier League action resumes this weekend.
Arsene Wenger takes his side to Sunderland, where he had hoped to combine new £42.4 million signing Mesut Ozil with the pace of Walcott for the first time.
Wenger will hope Walcott only suffered bruising to the ankle, rather than any type of twist or sprain that could result in weeks on the sidelines.
Arsenal also saw Tomas Rosicky and Yaya Sanogo return from international duty with injury concerns, per John Cross of the Daily Mirror, while Lukas Podolski remains a long-term casualty at the Emirates.