Carl Jenkinson has backed Theo Walcott to return from knee surgery an even “better and stronger” player than before.

It was announced on Monday evening that the the England international had ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament of his left knee and would be out for at least six months.

While Jenkinson was bitterly disappointed for his team-mate, he insists Walcott will make a full recovery.

He is incredibly focused and mentally he is a very strong character

Carl Jenkinson

“If anybody is going to come back better and stronger, it is Theo,” he told Arsenal.com. “He is incredibly focused and mentally he is a very strong character.

“Theo will be fine, I have no doubts about that. I am disappointed that we have lost him for the rest of the season because he is a massive player for us and brings us something unique.

“It is tough to see one of your friends out for a long period of time. You wouldn’t wish it on anybody and it is probably the worst news we have had all season. He had only just come back from a previous injury and had been scoring goals for fun, so from both points of views it it terrible news.

“But Theo is a very strong guy and while it may take a bit of time to take it all in, he will just get on with things and fingers crossed the time flies by, for his sake and for ours.”

Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source Rob Kelly 7 Jan 2014