Walcott to miss England World Cup qualifiers

LONDON (AFP). Arsenal and England forward Theo Walcott is to undergo “minor” surgery on his abdomen on Wednesday which will keep him out of action until after next month’s World Cup qualifiers, the Premier League leaders announced Tuesday.

Walcott’s injury means he will be sidelined from the Wembley fixtures against Montenegro and Poland on October 11 and 15 respectively, with England still to book their place at next year’s World Cup finals in Brazil.

The winger missed Sunday’s win over Stoke City after developing slight damage to his posterior abdominal wall and the club believe Walcott should now undergo what the Arsenal website called a “minor procedure” as this will enable him to start his recovery immediately afterwards.

“Theo will be out for a few weeks,” Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger told the website. “He has developed some damage to his posterior abdominal wall. It’s not a hernia, but it’s a little structural problem in his abdomen.

“He will have the procedure in Germany on Wednesday and, because it’s so minor, we can begin his rehab immediately.

“We are pleased it’s being dealt with quickly and he shouldn’t miss too many Arsenal matches. But he will miss the forthcoming international matches with England,” the Frenchman added.

Walcott will now miss Wednesday’s League Cup tie with West Bromwich Albion followed by Saturday’s league match at Swansea as well as the Champions League home game against Napoli a week on Tuesday.

He joins an Arsenal injury list that already includes Lukas Podolski, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Santi Cazorla, leaving long-serving manager Wenger with few other options in wide positions.