Theo Walcott ruled out for six months

Roy Hodgson has been dealt a huge injury blow, ahead of England’s World Cup campaign, with the news that Theo Walcott will be sidelined for at least six months with a knee injury.

The Arsenal winger picked up the injury during Arsenal’s 2-0 third round FA Cup win over Tottenham on Saturday and scans showed that Walcott has in fact ruptured his ACL.

The Official Arsenal website states: “Theo has sustained a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament of his left knee.

“He will have surgery in the near future and is expected to be out for at least six months, thus missing the rest of the season and the World Cup.”

Walcott, 24, has been capped 36 times by England scoring 5 goals.

An earlier injury this season caused Walcott to miss England’s last two World Cup qualifiers against Montenegro and Poland with Tottenham’s Andr0s Townsend deputizing for him on the wing.

Walcott and Townsend were expected to compete for the right wing berth under England manager Roy Hodgson.

The Arsenal man made his debut for England at the tender age of just 17 years 75 days against Hungary back in May 2006.

However he has not featured in a World Cup despite being a surprise pick by Sven Goran Eriksson for the 2006 edition. Poor form caused Fabio Capello to leave him home during 2010 but Walcott re-established himself under the Italian to be picked for Euro 2012.

The injury is a major blow for club and country. Arsenal, who sit atop the English Premier League, are disappointed having just had the Englishman return from a stomach problem last November.

The Arsenal website continued: “Everyone at Arsenal wishes Theo a speedy recovery and we look forward to seeing him back on a football pitch as soon as possible.”

Arsenal face Aston Villa at Villa Park this weekend who beat the Gunners on the opening day of the season.