Walcott eyes comeback date
Gunners winger could be fit for the visit of Roma later this month
By Richard Bailey. Last Updated: 10/02/09 1:48pm
Walcott: Close to a comeback
Arsenal winger Theo Walcott has revealed that he could return for the Gunners' Uefa Champions League knockout clash with Roma at the Emirates.
The first leg of the last 16 encounter is due to be played on February 24th with the second leg two weeks later on March 11th.
The England international has been sidelined since November after injuring his shoulder on international duty, which later required surgery.
The Gunners' title challenge has suffered in the 19-year-old's absence and on his return he will find a side desperately battling it out for fourth place rather than the Premier League crown.
"I am nearly there and hopefully I will be back by the end of this month," he told the club's official website.
"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.
"Obviously I do not want to do it again, so I have got to be 100 per cent fit."
The former Southampton starlet believes that the injury could have been inherited from his dad but is just relieved to have got the problem sorted.
"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," he explained.
"So actually it is good that it has come when I am young, and hopefully now it will be as strong as anything."
Walcott's injury has meant that he has not had a chance to see new signing Andrey Arshavin close-up in training but he admits to checking out the Russian on the internet.
"Hopefully when I am back fit again, I can play a lot of football with him," he added.
"When he gets his fitness back up, he will be a top player for us definitely. I have seen him on YouTube a lot, watching how he plays, the balls he can spot. He can do unbelievable passes.
"He is going to be a good addition to the squad."