Theo Walcott, Arsenal and England's forward, suffered a suspected broken rib in England's 5-0 victory over San Marino at Wembley. Roy Hodgson was left fuming when the injury occurred; he knows how vital Walcott is to England's qualification for the World Cup.
No penalty was awarded to England when Walcott was banged by San Marino's keeper Aldo Simoncini just inside the area as he ran on to Kyle Walker's pass. Walcott was replaced by Tottenham's Aaron Lennon and was taken to the hospital for a scan. It's seriously doubtful the Gunners' forward will play in England's next World Cup qualifier against Poland on Tuesday.
Hodgson, who was very upset over the challenge, remains in doubt over how serious Walcott's injury is until his scan results return. Hopefully the injury is just a bruised rib, not one that is broken. A broken rib is a hard thing to play with, especially in the highly competitive World Cup qualifiers where so much is on the line for England.
Hodgson told ITV, "It was a very bad challenge. He is in hospital and will stay in hospital overnight. He is having scans and tests, and we can only hope it is not too bad."
Playing with even a bruised rib is difficult. All the running and cutting has to be excruciating at times. And Walcott isn't one to stay away from the action. Hodgson also wants Walcott in the action as much as possible - he's such a talented player, an injury throws England's game plan off the rails a bit.
Arsene Wenger can't be too happy either about the injury. When a player is sent to the hospital by something that the other club's goalkeeper did, I think it definitely was a very bad challenge. Did the goalkeeper do what he did with malice? No, but he still sent Walcott to the hospital and probably took him out of World Cup qualifying play for a while.
An injury is an injury, what club you get injured playing for doesn't really matter, but being an Arsenal follower, I don't like that Walcott got hurt playing for England.
Playing for England matters to Walcott, but does it matter so much that it could influence your performance and play for the club you have a large contract with? Walcott's relationship with the Arsenal brass isn't ideal right now.
David has been an Arsenal fan for nearly a decade.
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