Theo Walcott has paid tribute to Arsenal's medical staff after completing his rehabilitation from a dislocated shoulder.
The 19-year-old suffered his injury while on international duty with England in November and finally returned to full training last Monday before making his first-team comeback as a substitute against Burnley.
Walcott had enjoyed a flying start to the season when his wings were clipped by injury. Now, thanks to the staff at Emirates Stadium, he hopes to pick up where he left off.
"All the medical team at Arsenal have been brilliant," he told the Official Magazine Programme.
"Tony Colbert, Neal Reynolds, Colin Lewin, all the masseurs – everyone was just brilliant. They've been so good and I want to pay them back on the pitch now. Neal was great, I've got to know him quite well over the last few months and I'm grateful for all he's done. He really kept me going, but all the staff were brilliant.
"Our new doc, Gary O’Driscoll, has worked with rugby players, and he has dealt with plenty of these injuries. He said that, touch wood, players tend to come back and not suffer any reactions. So if that's the case in rugby, it should hopefully be fine in football.
"The time has passed a lot quicker than I thought it would. I always had [the Burnley] game, or the Roma away leg, as my comeback target in my mind.
"I was playing really well [before the injury], the boss had shown faith in me to put me in the team and I've got to get back to that level. But coming back from injury I know I won’t get there straight away, it will take me a few games to get into the swing of things.
"The best thing is to put 100 per cent in, work hard and do my best."
This interview first appeared in the Official Matchday Programme. You can subscribe to the Matchday Programme by calling 08700 20 20 20.
This interview first appeared in the Official Matchday Programme. You can subscribe to the Matchday Programme by calling 08700 20 20 20.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 9 Mar 2009