Gunners chief refuses to rush back England star despite striker shortage.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has said that he fears for the future of star forward Theo Walcott as he is still suffering from the mental scars of his long-term knee injury, the Daily Express reports.
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Walcott appeared the logical choice to return to the starting line-up against Southampton on Thursday with Danny Welbeck (groin) out and fellow frontmen Yaya Sanogo (hamstring) and Olivier Giroud (suspended) also missing. But Wenger refused to rush him back.
Walcott has made two short cameos from the bench over the past two months, but Wenger refuses to rely on him too early after revealing that the player is still “edgy” about being thrown in at the deep end.
Almost a year to the day since Walcott first suffered the injury, Wenger said: “Theo has been out for one year and he has to go for contact and today the game does not forgive you any lack of contact or defensive focus. We have to get that.
“We will see that when he plays, it is difficult to predict, he is certainly a bit edgy as he has been out for so long.
“Yes of course, you must have that first tackle in your mind and have to go through that. Fitness wise he is there but he has not had a lot of practice in training.
“He has been impatient, he has been injured and of course you are always impatient. He is 25 going to 26 and this is an important part in his life for a player.”