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Theo Walcott to make Arsenal return Friday

The nine-month wait is nearly over.

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Clive Brunskill

Theo Walcott will finally make his long-awaited return to actual game action in two days, as the Telegraph is reporting that the long-injured forward will start for the U21 team against Blackburn on Friday. Walcott has been unavailable since injuring ligaments in his knee in an FA Cup win against Tottenham Hotspur on January 4.

Walcott has only been in full training again for a few days, so it's unlikely that this appearance will be more than a run-out to get his legs back under him. Matt Law says he'll be given around an hour, which would likely rule him out of any participation in the weekend's Premier League game against Hull City. But if it goes well and Walcott responds well in next week's training, one would think he could be in the squad to face Anderlecht in the Champions League on Wednesday or against Sunderland the following weekend.

Either way, the current run of games is a pretty good one for Theo to come back -- while we all know that Anything Can Happen, the next Big Game doesn't come until Manchester United come calling the weekend before (American) Thanksgiving. Hopefully by then Walcott (and for that matter, Aaron Ramsey) will be fully re-integrated in the team and at his best.