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Page last updated at 11:09 GMT, Wednesday, 30 September 2009 12:09 UK

Walcott fit for England matches

Arsenal winger Theo Walcott
Walcott has won eight caps for the England senior team

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has revealed Theo Walcott will be fit for England's remaining World Cup qualifiers.

The 20-year-old winger has been out with a back injury since June but played in a specially arranged game on Tuesday to gain match fitness.

"Theo played for 60 minutes and came through well," said Wenger. "He will be available for England."

England, who have already qualified for the 2010 finals, play Ukraine on 10 October and Belarus four days later.

Fabio Capello's men made sure of their place by beating Croatia earlier this month.

And Walcott, who has played in six of England's eight qualifying games, harbours serious ambitions of making the World Cup squad.


He was involved in England's Under-21 European Championship campaign this summer, despite Wenger insisting that Walcott should not play for both that national team and the senior one.

Walcott's last senior match was in England's 6-0 victory over Andorra in June but he faced an Olympiakos academy side behind closed doors at Arsenal's training ground on Tuesday.

He is likely to be named in the Gunners squad for Sunday's Premier League game against Blackburn.

Capello is expected to name a full-strength squad for England's two qualifiers, with the Football Association reportedly concerned that fielding weakened teams would go against the code of ethics of football's governing body Fifa - therefore harming the bid to stage the 2018 World Cup.

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see also
Arsenal 2-0 Olympiakos
29 Sep 09 |  Europe
England's road to World Cup 2010
09 Sep 09 |  Football
Pearce stands defiant on Walcott
09 Jun 09 |  Internationals
Wenger fear over Walcott workload
25 May 09 |  Arsenal

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