Wenger: Walcott needs time

Premiership

Walcott, who is expected to start against Swansea on Sunday, made his return off the bench in last weekend's win over Burnley after suffering a cruciate knee ligament injury on January 4.

Despite his lack of game-time, the 25-year-old is in Roy Hodgson's England squad for an upcoming European Championship qualifier against Slovenia and a friendly in Scotland.

"It takes two months," Wenger said when asked how long it will take Walcott to be back to his best.

"Once you're back in full training, you count two months. Of course, people think you're back and you play but it's not like that. Ten months is a long time in top-level football.

"[You lose] the sharpness, the speed. At the top level, it's a fraction of a second that makes the decisions. And to find the confidence to get away from people.

"You're nearly there but you're not there and for a while you think, 'will that ever come back?' And suddenly yes, it's there again. But it takes time to get that fraction of pace.

"You need to go back into contact. He will go with England and get what he needs to. He will get competitive training every day and get back into games.

"At the moment we go from recovery to recovery. He works hard, but maybe he can play against Scotland and gain a lot from that."

comments