By Chris Harris
Arsène Wenger has no concerns over the long-term fitness of Theo Walcott.
The Arsenal winger dislocated his shoulder during an England training session on Tuesday and will not play until next year. However, reports that his injury could blight the rest of Walcott's career appear to be wide of the mark.
"Theo had a dislocated shoulder and he had surgery today. He will be out three months," confirmed Wenger at his pre-match press conference.
"But there is no [long-term] concern about that. Once the surgery is done and it is solid, there is no concern at all for the future of Theo Walcott. Not at all."
Walcott has been sidelined by shoulder problems before so Wenger knows what to expect when the teenager recovers from his operation. The Frenchman admits that the nature of Walcott's injury may keep him out for longer than three months.
"Theo is in fact out three months to play, but it is not [necessarily] the first game where he comes back," explained Wenger. "That is difficult to rate because we have had experience of a player coming back from such an injury.
“It can take time to use his shoulder again and every little protection of the ball, you need your shoulder. At the start they use their body and don’t use their shoulder as much as they should. It takes some time to get used to that.
“The experience we had with Theo was that [the last time he injured his shoulder] he played after three months. He was not completely competitive after three months. He could play in the games."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 20 Nov 2008