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Theo Walcott's injuries worry Arsene Wenger

Theo Walcott
Walcott's fledgling career has been riddled with injuries

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger admits he is concerned how Theo Walcott's latest injury setback will affect the England international on a mental level.

Walcott, 21, faces up to six weeks out after damaging his ankle in England's 3-1 Euro 2012 qualifying win over Switzerland on Tuesday.

Wenger said: "It is frustrating for him. You never know what kind of psychological impact it has.

"The mental side is always a question mark when a player gets injuries."

Walcott first suffered a lay-off in November 2008, when he dislocated a shoulder on England duty, ruling him out for six months.

Wenger applauds Ferguson on 700th game

A litany of further problems, including back, knee and hamstring injuries, marred his 2009-10 season - his stop-start availability for his club culminating in his controversial omission from England manager Fabio Capello's World Cup squad.

And Wenger added: "When you are a manager and you see an injury doesn't harm the career of a player, you are happy.

"After that the only unknown quantity is how much it will damage his confidence in the box, on tackling and all that."

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Walcott made no secret of his disappointment at Capello's summer snub but he began this season brightly for club and country.

He found the net three times in four games for the Gunners and impressed in his three international appearances - even catching the eye during the 10 minutes he was on the field in Basle before a challenge by Swiss defender Yves Oehri ended his night.

But, despite his bad luck, Wenger has backed the player he acquired for £5m from Southampton in 2006 to once again bounce back.

"Ideally, you do not want a player to be injured many times by bad tackles," added the Frenchman.

"However, I believe Theo will deal well with that because he has done it before."

Second-placed Arsenal resume their Premier League campaign at home to Bolton on Saturday, with Wenger also without the talents of striker Robin van Persie, whose ankle knock carries approximately the same prognosis as Walcott's, and central defender Thomas Vermaelen (Achilles).

Winger Aaron Ramsey, meanwhile, is expected back in November as the Welshman continues his rehabilitation from the broken leg he suffered at Stoke last February.



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see also
Arsenal 4-1 Bolton
11 Sep 10 |  Premier League
Wenger applauds Ferguson on 700th game
10 Sep 10 |  Football
Walcott facing six-week absence
09 Sep 10 |  Arsenal
Arsenal suffer Van Persie setback
07 Sep 10 |  Arsenal
Switzerland 1-3 England
07 Sep 10 |  Football
Blackburn 1-2 Arsenal
28 Aug 10 |  Premier League
Walcott aims to bounce back for England
31 Aug 10 |  Football
Walcott left out of England squad
04 Oct 09 |  Internationals
Walcott suffers hamstring injury
03 Dec 09 |  Arsenal
Walcott faces month on sidelines
19 Oct 09 |  Arsenal
Walcott ruled out after surgery
20 Nov 08 |  Arsenal


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