• World Cup

Loss of Walcott a blow, says Hodgson

ESPN staff
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Theo Walcott was stretchered off against Tottenham © Getty Images
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Roy Hodgson has admitted the news that Theo Walcott is out of the World Cup is a "blow" for England, with anterior cruciate ligament damage ruling him out for six months.

Walcott, 24, was almost certain to be part of Hodgson's squad for the World Cup finals in Brazil. But the winger suffered the injury when getting his studs caught in the Emirates Stadium turf late in Arsenal's 2-0 FA Cup win over arch-rivals Spurs, with his season now over.

"I spoke with Theo and just wanted to express my disappointment to him," Hodgson told the FA's official website. "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."

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