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Friday, November 21, 2008

Arsenal winger Theo Walcott ruled out after surgery

Arsenal winger Theo Walcott has undergone surgery on his dislocated right shoulder and will be sidelined for at least three months.

Walcott, who has a hereditary shoulder problem, suffered the injury in training with the England squad ahead of Wednesday's friendly with Germany.

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger said: "After three months he can play but it takes longer to be completely competitive.

"After this injury it takes a while for a player to use his shoulder again."

Walcott, 19, has suffered from a series of shoulder injuries in his career.

He had his left shoulder pinned in 2007 and had to be stretchered off during Arsenal's recent game with Stoke after he fell on it and suffered spasms as a result.

The operation was carried out by the same surgeon who operated on Walcott in 2007.

The winger had been due to play in England's friendly against Germany in Berlin, a match that Fabio Capello's team won 2-1.

Walcott has been a regular for the Gunners this season and, having seen his team collect just four points from their last four league games, Wenger must do without one of his most potent attacking players.

Last season the Derby midfielder Stephen Pearson was ruled out for a month after suffering the same injury.

But Walcott is not expected to return until 2009 - ruling him out of the remainder of Arsenal's Champions League group campaign as well as at least seven Premier League games.

"During Tuesday's training session Theo Walcott dislocated his right shoulder after falling on the pitch," said an FA statement.

"Arsenal's medical staff were advised of the injury soon after the incident."

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