LONDON: England forward Theo Walcott will miss this year’s football World Cup in Brazil after being ruled out for at least six months with a knee injury, his club Arsenal said on Monday.
Walcott suffered a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament of his left knee during Premier League leaders Arsenal’s 2-0 FA Cup win at home against Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday.
An Arsenal statement said Walcott is “expected to be out for at least six months, therefore missing the remainder of the (English) season and the World Cup in Brazil in the summer”.
Walcott jarred his knee towards the end of the match making a tackle and was carried from the field.
Arsenal teammate Aaron Ramsey sympathised with Walcott on Twitter by saying: “Gutted for Theo, he’ll come back stronger after this. Have a speedy recovery mate.”
Former Arsenal and England midfielder Ray Parlour said Walcott would be a major loss for both club and country.
“What a really big injury this is for Arsenal and England because I’m sure Theo would have been a starter for England in Brazil,” said Parlour.
No disciplinary action against striker: FA
Earlier on Monday, the Football Association (FA), the English game’s governing body, said Walcott would not face disciplinary action for making a ‘2-0’ gesture from his stretcher that appeared to be aimed at Spurs fans.
“The FA has contacted Arsenal’s Theo Walcott and reminded him of his responsibilities regarding a ‘score-line’ gesture,” it said in a statement. “The FA will not be taking any further disciplinary action.”
Walcott’s injury may mean Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has to buy a striker during the January transfer window following injuries to a number of forwards, with Olivier Giroud out with illness and Nicklas Bendtner expected to miss most of January with an ankle injury.