England boss Roy Hodgson backs Theo Walcott to 'come back stronger' from injury
Roy Hodgson is confident Theo Walcott will make a full recovery from the injury which has wrecked his World Cup hopes.
Last Updated: 07/01/14 6:35pm
Walcott is out for six months after rupturing a cruciate ligament during Arsenal's FA Cup victory over Tottenham on Saturday.
That timescale gives him no chance of featuring in Brazil this summer - four years after he was a shock omission from England's 23-man squad for South Africa.
Walcott was an unused squad member in 2006 and will be 29 before he gets another chance to play in a World Cup finals tournament.
Hodgson has spoken with Walcott since news of the injury broke on Monday, and he told the TheFA.com: "I just wanted to express my disappointment to him. It is a blow for him personally of course, and for both Arsenal and England.
"We had quite a lengthy conversation and it is such a shame that we have lost a player of his calibre for the World Cup, he has been incredibly unfortunate and we wish him a speedy recovery.
"Having worked with him for two years as England manager I know the character he has, and I know he will come back even stronger from this setback."
Arsenal great Bob Wilson has also been in touch with Walcott and told Sky Sports News the 24-year-old's reaction to his injury has been "very, very positive".
He said: "The main line coming through was 'I will get through this'. He's a positive lad still in his early 20s, and you think of Aaron Ramsey with career-threatening injury he had (a broken leg in 2010) and how well he's come through.
"I know the treatment he'll get and all the positivity he has. We wish him well."
And Walcott's Arsenal team-mate Carl Jenkinson has no doubt Walcott will be back next season.
"If anybody is going to come back better and stronger, it is Theo," Jenkinson told the club website. "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.
"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."
The police have revealed that they are looking into anti-semitic abuse posted on Twitter in response to Walcott's injury.
The news that Walcott will be out for six months led to vitroilic exhanges between Arsenal and Tottenham fans - at least one tweet contained a picture mocking the Holocaust.
Anti-racism group Kick It Out reported the incidents to the police who are now investigating.