Updates from Friday, Nov. 21
Arsene Wenger revealed, via Arsenal's official Twitter:
Andy Burton of Sky Sports providing further info:
Arsene Wenger says Theo Walcott's injury is a tight groin. Will keep him out of the Man United game. @SkySportsNewsHQ— Andy Burton (@imandyburton) November 21, 2014
Updates from Sunday, Nov. 9
Arsenal announced Theo Walcott is available to play today, if needed:
Updates from Friday, Nov. 7
Theo Walcott is fit to start Arsenal's clash with Swansea on Sunday, Arsene Wenger revealed during Friday's pre-match presser.
Wenger is also happy for England to use the knee injury victim as they see fit, per Arsenal's official Twitter:
Updates from Monday, Nov. 3
Arsene Wenger has given Theo Walcott his blessing to link up with England for the next international break, but he warned Roy Hodgson the winger is only ready for a few minutes.
Paul Brown of the Daily Star quotes Wenger saying:
If he wants to go, I'm happy for him to go and practice and maybe get a few minutes. Mentally it will help him.
Is he completely ready? I think it is a bit early but to be in the squad will be good for him.
Updates from Friday, Oct. 31
Theo Walcott will not start when Arsenal welcome Burnley to the Emirates this weekend.
Arsene Wenger revealed, via Arsenal's official Twitter:
Updates from Thursday, Oct. 30
Theo Walcott has hinted that he will finally make his playing return when Arsenal host Burnley this weekend.
The England speedster posted the following on Instagram, accompanied by the words: "Training going well this week. Looking forward to the weekend! #afc #COYG #SpeedMatters
Updates from Friday, Oct. 24
Theo Walcott will not make his long-waited Arsenal return against Sunderland this weekend.
Arsene Wenger provided the latest, via Arsenal's official Twitter:
However, according to Jeremy Wilson of The Telegraph, Walcott will be in the squad this weekend:
Theo Walcott has been included in Arsenal’s travelling first-team squad to Sunderland, despite Arsene Wenger’s concerns about whether he is ready to make his comeback.
Wenger had suggested that Walcott would not be involved until the match against Burnley next week but, after watching him train this morning, did then include the 25-year-old in the group that is travelling to the North East.
Although Wenger's final 17-man matchday squad will be decided on Saturday morning, there would be no logical reason for asking Walcott to travel to Sunderland if he did not at least want to have him on the bench.
Updates from Friday, Oct. 17
Walcott's return to the Arsenal U-21 lineup lasted a half, according to the team's official Twitter feed:
Gooner updates provided a photo of Walcott in action:
Picture: Theo Walcott in action for the U21 pic.twitter.com/P0aYiUpeeE— Gooner Updates (@GoonerUpdates) October 17, 2014
Updates from Thursday, Oct. 16
Theo Walcott is set to take part in an Under-21 game as he aims to prove his return to full fitness.
John Cross of the Daily Mirror tweeted:
Arsenal injury update - Koscielny out and doesn't sound good, Rosicky should train today and Walcott will play in next u-21s game.— John Cross (@johncrossmirror) October 16, 2014
Updates from Tuesday, Oct. 14
Theo Walcott has confirmed that he felt no after effects following his return to first-team training on Monday.
Walcott is closing in on a return from a serious knee injury, and he tweeted:
First full training session after 9 months - feeling good!! http://t.co/QrMIXaxs5h— Theo Walcott (@theowalcott) October 13, 2014
Updates from Monday, Oct. 13
Theo Walcott is nearing a first-team return after Arsenal posted images of him in first-team training on Monday.
The club's official Twitter posted:
Charlie Eccleshare of the Daily Mail had a bit more detail on Walcott's return:
But the England international is expected to be fit enough to be on the substitutes bench for Arsenal against Hull on Saturday - a welcome boost to manager Arsene Wenger who is already without the likes of Ozil, Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud.
Updates from Sunday, Oct. 5
Arsenal confirmed Theo Walcott is still not fit to play:
Updates from Tuesday, Sept. 30
Arsene Wenger has revealed Theo Walcott will return to first-team training next week as he stays on course for a potential comeback after the international break.
Arsenal's official Twitter passed along the latest:
Wenger: "Walcott and Gnabry will be joining in training next week" #AFCvGAL— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) September 30, 2014
Updates from Monday, Sept. 22
Theo Walcott is on course to make a potential return against Hull City on Oct. 18, according to Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger.
The Frenchman gave the following update to Arsenal's official website:
Theo is doing very well, and Gnabry is doing very well too. They should be available after the international break for full training.
Updates from Tuesday, Sept. 9
Theo Walcott commented on his status and when he expects to return via John Cross of The Mirror:
I hope to be quicker, definitely. I’ve been working very hard. You’ve got to look at these injuries as a bit of a blessing at times. I’ve never had the opportunity to work on the strength in my legs and with that I think hopefully I should be quicker and stronger. So that’s what I’m looking forward to.
I’m all about positive thinking. When you think about injuries, you don’t want to be all negative about it. If you’re negative or down in the dumps, then it’d take longer. This injury was always going to take nine months.
I haven’t put a specific date or looked at a game yet.
I think there was rumours of me coming back for the Spurs game [on September 27], which is definitely not going to happen, that’s for sure. But I’ll definitely be there for the one in February.
Chris Harris of Arsenal.com relayed additional quotes:
You've just got to look forward to the rehab and work as hard as you can. There have been a lot of long days in rehab and being in over summer when there weren’t any other players at the training ground, but a positive for me is that I’ve been able to spend a lot of time with my family, because during a normal season, we're away and in hotels for long periods of time.
I knew how long the rehab would be, it was always going to be around nine months. But I approached it that I had to enjoy it, and that’s what I have done, it's given me the opportunity to work on my legs and build up the muscle strength. If anything, I hope to come back stronger and quicker.
We’re not setting specific comeback matches, but I’m just pleased it’s hopefully now only a matter of weeks before I’ll be back playing," he said.
There may be one or two under-21s matches I’ll be involved in first. I’m just looking forward to getting out there and playing again.
Updates from Wednesday, Sept. 3
Theo Walcott is expected to be back in the Arsenal first-team picture by the end of September, according to Arsene Wenger.
The Gunners are taking their time with Walcott's recovery from a serious knee injury, but Wenger has now sketched out a timeline for his return, per the Daily Mirror's John Cross:
He’s doing well, but we’ll respect the time. We have plenty of players who can fill in that role and we will respect the delay.
The timing with Theo is end of the month to join in again, after the break in full training.
Arsenal fans will welcome the good news shared by Arsene Wenger on Thursday, when he confirmed that Theo Walcott is nearing a return to the first team.
The Frenchman explained that the England international should return to training by the end of this month as he looks to attain the fitness needed to pick up his career.
The Arsenal Twitter feed broke the news, with SuperSport presenter Carol Radull also responding to the latest information on Walcott:
Walcott was superb last season, in between his lengthy spells on the treatment table. Cruciate damage ended his campaign, but he showed flashes of brilliance and maturity.
The speed merchant only featured in 13 Premier League matches for the Gunners, as per WhoScored.com, but he was involved in nine goals for Arsenal—scoring five and assisting four times.
His form looked sharp when he was on the pitch, and had he managed to stay fit for longer periods, Arsenal may have gotten closer to the league title.
But now, his biggest threat comes from within the team with the recent acquisition of Chile superstar Alexis Sanchez.
Sanchez can play anywhere across the attack, but there is a chance that Wenger may prefer him ahead of Walcott, in his right-sided role.
Journalist Piers Morgan believes he has the tonic for fitting in both players to Arsenal's line-up:
Morgan's idea would mean playing Sanchez as the striker, and this would indeed protect Walcott's wider berth.
But with Olivier Giroud a favourite of the manager, it is easy to envisage the former Barcelona man coming from a wider position, pushing Walcott from the immediate picture.
However, Walcott himself recently spoke about teaming up with Arsenal's big-summer purchase and proclaimed they will be a deadly force when they are finally in the team together, as per Elliott Bretland of the Daily Mail.
Posting a picture on Twitter, Walcott said, as per Bretland: "Watch out Premier League. Me and Alexis Sanchez will be a deadly force!! Speed matters."
There is no doubt that speed wins football matches in English football, and the combination of Walcott and Sanchez should leave Arsenal fans salivating at the prospect of watching them.
Morgan was correct in his earlier assumption that Sanchez should play through the middle; although not a natural striker, he knows how to score goals.
Will Arsene Wenger play Alexis Sanchez and Theo Walcott together?
With Mesut Ozil feeding both Walcott and Sanchez, Arsenal have a genuine chance of becoming Premier League champions. Getting Walcott fit and consistently available is the next trick now, and Wenger failed with this last year.
It was bad luck that he suffered the cruciate damage last season, so Wenger will need to manage his involvement and not rush him back.