Arsenal’s Walcott out of England World Cup qualifiers after stomach surgery

Roy Hodgson will be without Theo Walcott for England’s World Cup qualification double header with Poland and Montenegro as the Arsenal forward requires surgery on a stomach problem, the Daily Mail has reported.

Walcott will undergo the operation on Wednesday and though it is only a minor procedure, he will not recover in time to play for the national team in October. The injury occurred during the warm-up ahead of Arsenal’s home win over Stoke City and forced Walcott, who had originally been named in the starting XI, to pull out of the match.

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger will also have to contend without Walcott, but Wenger insisted that it was a procedure that had to be carried out as soon as possible – and that Walcott can begin his rehabilitation right away. “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,” Wenger explained.

The Frenchman continued: “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.

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