Theo Walcott closing on Arsenal return

London: Arsenal winger Theo Walcott could make his return from a serious knee injury by the end of the month, manager Arsene Wenger revealed on Thursday.

Walcott, 25, has not played since rupturing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during Arsenal`s 2-0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur in the FA Cup third round in January.

He subsequently had to undergo surgery, forcing him to miss both Arsenal`s FA Cup triumph over Hull City and England`s World Cup campaign, but Wenger says that he is now close to a return.

"Theo Walcott is planned to come back into my group on August 31. The beginning of September at the latest," the Frenchman told a press conference at the Emirates Stadium.

"He`s doing well, but he`s not completely ready."

Asked when Walcott will be available to play, Wenger replied: "I would say end of August."

England have a friendly game at home to Norway on September 3, but Wenger thinks that the game will come too soon for Walcott.

"To play an international match, that could be a bit early," he said.

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