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Theo out of key England games

Theo Walcott is to undergo surgery on an abdominal problem and will miss England's final World Cup qualifiers.

Last Updated: 24/09/13 at 23:38 Post Comment

Theo Walcott: Withdrawn from Arsenal side for Stoke game

Theo Walcott: Withdrawn from Arsenal side for Stoke game

The Arsenal forward complained of pain in the final warm-up before Sunday's victory over Stoke and was withdrawn from the starting line-up.

Arsene Wenger called the injury "a mystery" in the aftermath of the game but, according to the Arsenal website, further examination has revealed "slight damage to his posterior abdominal wall".

Walcott has been ruled out of Arsenal's next four games - trips to West Brom in the Capital One Cup and the Premier League, a league game at Swansea and Napoli's Champions League visit.

And he will be unavailable for England's closing Group H qualifiers against Poland and Montenegro - a Wembley double-header which will determine whether Roy Hodgson's side qualify for Brazil, go into the play-offs or miss out altogether.

Wenger said: "Theo will be out for a few weeks. 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."

Walcott started both England's September qualifiers, a 4-0 win against Moldova and a goalless draw in Ukraine.

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till reckon Chelsea will go for Khedira as back up for Matic. I think it will turn out to be quite a Mourihno-y window: We'll see the squad players and youth in action pre-season, say things like well, we need not buy anybody and then the club will bid £60m for Pogba and send everybody on loan.

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would love to be a fly on the wall at the meeting between Milner and Rodgers. I don't know if flies can count, but if they can then I would be counting the number of times Rodgers used the word outstanding in his attempts to get Milner to sign.

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ell, it wouldn't be a summer without Arsenal fans fretting over losing a key player, and United throwing their weight around and muscling in on transfer deals which are (apparently) near to completion. If we can't be entertained by the football on the pitch, let's enjoy the silly off-pitch soap opera of the transfer season. Hurrah!

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