Date: 19th October 2009 at 5:04pm
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Arsenal flyer Theo Walcott finds himself back on the physio`s couch having damaged his medial ligament following a robust challenge from Birmingham defender Liam Ridgewell early in the home game this weekend.

It follows a protracted period out due to a back injury which prevented Theo playing this season until a substitute appearance against Blackburn in which he notched his first goal of the season. This new injury will prevent him playing until the 2nd half of November if early prognosis of his recovery time proves accurate.

A couple of months ago Wenger had attributed Walcott`s early injury woes to a lack of rest in the summer having played for both full and U21 England teams. The Arsenal boss was quoted as saying, “I didn`t want him to play for the Under-21s. I know how it works. The player comes back later than everybody else, doesn`t have a decent preparation, you are under pressure to rush him back, you play him earlier than you should, he gets an injury and you see him again in October.

“That`s why I was adamant that he does not go with the Under-21s. He has no decent preparation for the league championship, for the season and, in the end, England will pay the price as well.”

It would be inaccurate to claim that this injury is directly related to lack of summer rest but Wenger is a strong advocate of the value of a proper preseason. “Ideal [pre-season] preparation is four to six weeks. So you know already you will start the season without him. When we played in Valencia, I played him in one half. Maybe I should not have played him.”

There is a resonance with a prolonged injury absence for Fabregas last season following his involvement with Spain in the previous summers Euro tournament and the consequent lack of a proper pre-season build up. While out injured Cesc pointed to similar injury fates suffered by others such asTorres and Iniesta after their success in the 2008 tournament.



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