By Richard Clarke
Theo Walcott hopes to be back from injury at the end of February and may have a slim chance of making the crucial Champions League tie against Roma.
The midfielder last played for Arsenal in the defeat to Aston Villa on November 15. He dislocated his shoulder while on England duty a few days later.
The 19-year-old had surgery at the time and is well on the road to recovery. He is due to see a specialist on February 24 – the day of the Knockout Round first leg at Emirates Stadium – and is ambitious enough to believe he just might be involved.
"I am nearly there, and hopefully [will be back] by the end of this month," said Walcott in a webchat sponsored by EA Sports yesterday.
"I am doing a lot of rehab work now with the shoulder, landing on it, and also in the gym with a lot of weights to build the muscle strength back.
"I am seeing a specialist on February 24 so he will give me the heads [up]. Maybe it can be for that game I don’t know. I don’t want to get anyone’s hopes up but I hope to be back by the end of the month certainly."
Shoulder problems run in the Walcott family however the winger feels this latest setback in fact could be beneficial in the long run.
"My dad had an operation on his right side (shoulder) as well, and when I had my left side done, they did a scan on my right and said that something might have to be done at a different stage," Walcott added.
"So actually it is good that it has come when I am young, and hopefully now it will be as strong as anything."Copyright 2013 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 10 Feb 2009