• Premier League

Walcott could miss Arsenal openers

ESPN staff
August 13, 2013
ESPNFC: Gunners to fire this season?

Arsenal's plans for the new Premier League season have been dealt a blow after Theo Walcott was injured during England training.

Walcott, who is part of the squad to play Scotland in a friendly at Wembley on Wednesday night, starred for Arsenal in a pre-season win against rivals Manchester City at the weekend, scoring one goal and setting up two in a 3-1 win.

The 24-year-old hurt his ankle and had to be helped from the pitch meaning he could not complete the session.

Manager Roy Hodgson believes Walcott will recover sufficiently to play a part against Scotland. He said afterwards: "Theo took a slight knock at the end of training, but we believe he'll be okay. He's very much still in contention."

Walcott's team-mate Jack Wilshere will definitely be involved on Wednesday night but Hodgson will not call on the midfielder to play 90 minutes.

Wilshere has played in all but two of Arsenal's pre-season games but after suffering with injuries last season the 21-year-old has not completed a full match.

Arsene Wenger has been careful not to exert too much pressure on his star man ahead of the 2013-14 campaign, a view which Hodgson agrees with due to the depth of talent available to him in midfield.

"I have not had the benefit of Jack Wilshere for a qualifying match or an important match so we are pleased to have him back," Hodgson said.

"We are aware of the fact that Arsene is careful with him at Arsenal and I will be careful with him as well.

"We are spoilt for choice in that we have enormous riches in the central midfield area. I was very pleased with Michael Carrick and Frank Lampard in the Brazil and Ireland fixtures and I am delighted with Steven Gerrard and Jack Wilshere and that is just naming four. We have others who can compete as well."

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