Walcott picked up groin injury with England – Wenger

The winger recently returned from a 10-month absence against Burnley but has missed both Arsenal’s games since as the Gunners’ fitness concerns mount

Theo Walcott has added to Arsenal’s growing injury list as Arsene Wenger has revealed the winger picked up a groin problem while with England.

The 25-year-old made his return from an anterior cruciate ligament injury against Burnley on November 1, his first outing since January, but has since missed the loss to Manchester United and the win over Dortmund.

Mikel Arteta and Yaya Sanogo were forced off on Wednesday night, joining the likes of Wojciech Szczesny, Danny Welbeck and Mesut Ozil on the sidelines as Wenger counts 10 first-team absentees.

“[Walcott] has a groin problem that he came back from England with. He’s not available,” Wenger told reporters.

“We have so many knocks I can only sort it out this morning. Szczesny has not practiced, Arteta is out, Sanogo has problems.

“Welbeck will be checked. He had a swollen knee so he wasn’t available for Dortmund. [Debuchy] is about two weeks away. We have been unlucky with injuries. What can you do about it? Not a lot.”

Jack Wilshere was also recently sidelined for three months after injuring ligaments in his left ankle, but Wenger has backed the youngster to not dwell on the setback despite the repeat damage.

“We knew he would have surgery. He’s focused to come back and finish the season well. I think he will be back at end of February, beginning of March,” he added.

“His injury is a consequence of a very bad tackle that was not malicious. He deals very well with tackles and kicks but nobody would’ve dealt with that tackle.

“If he has no problems with his joints he will make a massive career. He loves the game but he has also learnt to deal with adversity at a young age. He’s determined.”

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