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Walcott likely to be fit for north London derby

ESPN staff
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Theo Walcott will face stiff competition on his return to action © Getty Images
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Arsenal's Theo Walcott is likely to be fit for the north London derby in September after manager Arsene Wenger confirmed the winger should return to his squad at the end of August.

Walcott is continuing his recovery from a ruptured anterior cruciaten knee ligament he suffered during Arsenal's FA Cup clash with Tottenham in January and, although he recently said it had "pretty much healed", he will miss the start of the new Premier League season.

Wenger expects Walcott to return to full training no later than the start of September, meaning the 25 year old should be fit for their first derby with Tottenham on September 27.

"Theo Walcott is planned to come back into my group on 31st August, beginning of September at the latest," Wenger said. "He is doing well but he is not completely ready. I would say he could play at the end of August."

Walcott did not feature for the rest of last season and missed England's World Cup campaign in Brazil this summer. While he will face stiff competition from new signing Alexis Sanchez, Walcott admitted his excitement over the Chilean's arrival at the Emirates.

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