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Sunday 21 September 2014

Wright has sympathy for Walcott

Published 07/01/2014 | 07:12

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Ian Wright missed the World Cup in France in 1998 due to a hamstring problem

Former Arsenal striker Ian Wright understands what Theo Walcott is going through after a serious knee injury ruled the England forward out for the rest of the season and ended his World Cup dream.

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Walcott damaged the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during Saturday's FA Cup victory over Tottenham and is expected to be unavailable to Arsenal - and England - for the next six months.

The 24-year-old is therefore all but certain to miss out on a place at the World Cup finals in Brazil, which begin in June.

As a teenager he was a surprise call-up for the 2006 finals in Germany, where he did not play, and was then overlooked by Fabio Capello for the South African edition four years ago.

And Wright, whose goals helped England qualify for the World Cup in France in 1998 only for a hamstring injury to rule him out of the finals, feels Walcott's pain.

He told BBC Radio Five Live: "As a player it's devastating. I missed out on a World Cup in '98 through injury and it's something that you never truly get over.

"In the end I didn't actually get to play in any but for someone like Theo who has been there but not played - but he has been there - for this one I feel he would have been ready."

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