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Wenger positive but Walcott will miss start of the season

(Reuters) - Arsenal forward Theo Walcott will miss the start of the Premier League season but should be back in full training by the end of August and playing again soon afterwards, manager Arsene Wenger said.

The 25-year-old England international ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during an FA Cup third-round tie against Tottenham in January and missed the rest of the season and the World Cup.

"We expect him to be back in full training at the end of August," Wenger was quoted as saying on the BBC website.

"Theo has a good basis, which is what he's working on now," added Wenger, who also predicted that Walcott's return to contention would be "very quick" once he was back in full training.

When Walcott suffered the injury Arsenal said he would be out of action for at least six months. However, the club has for some time accepted that he would not return before the start of the season on Aug. 16.

Walcott himself is positive over the prospects for his return to action for the Gunners.

"Things are looking really good and I have worked very hard for the last five months now," he told Arsenal's website (www.arsenal.com).

"The most important thing is getting the strength back and it has pretty much nearly healed - it is just about building up that stability and strength again."

(Reporting By Tony Goodson, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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