By Chris Harris

Arsène Wenger will not use Theo Walcott's injury as an excuse if Arsenal fail to land the title this season.

The 19-year-old has been in fine form this term but he will sit out the next three months after dislocating his shoulder during an England training session on Tuesday.

Walcott's absence will hamper Arsenal's prospects of bridging the nine-point gap to Chelsea and Liverpool at the top of the Premier League but Wenger will not dwell on this week's poor fortune.

"I don't believe that even if you lose the title, you cannot link it with one player," said the Frenchman.

"I do think it is a problem that we have lost him, but that would not be an excuse to lose the championship because of that."

Walcott will have to make do with a watching brief as his team-mates look to kick-start their title challenge with a victory at Manchester City on Saturday. But Wenger expects the teenager to maintain a positive outlook throughout his spell on the sidelines.

"I haven't seen him [since the injury] because he came straight back to the surgeon and had surgery today. But he copes quite well [with injuries] and I'm amazed how he deals with it," said Wenger.

"This time it's a bit of a blow because he's just taking off. It's an important part of the season where he feels like he's playing every game, and he's playing for the national team and it's part of a career."

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21 Nov 2008