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Theo Walcott hopes to return in "a matter of weeks"

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The Arsenal forward believes he could be stronger after the injury than he was before.

Shaun Botterill

In an interview with the Arsenal website, Theo Walcott has said that he hopes to return from his long-term knee ligament injury in "a matter of weeks," and that he thinks he will be better for having gone through the ordeal and the surrounding rehabilitation.

We’re not setting specific comeback matches, but I’m just pleased it’s hopefully now only a matter of weeks before I’ll be back playing. There may be one or two under-21s matches I’ll be involved in first. I’m just looking forward to getting out there and playing again.

Everyone has been so good with me - the Arsenal medical team, the Arsenal fans, and of course my family. Everyone has worked so hard and have been so supportive towards me. And now I'm coming to the end of my rehab, I just can't thank everyone enough.

Walcott says he took the outlook that he couldn't change that he was injured, and simply had to try to enjoy the rehab and work hard to come back -- and enjoy the fact that it gave him some more time to be with his family.

The time has seemed to fly by and there have been other things going on in my life, like a new baby boy, which makes time go quickly. It's a cliche but it's true.

I knew how long the rehab would be, it was always going to be around nine months. But I approached it that I had to enjoy it, and that’s what I have done, it's given me the opportunity to work on my legs and build up the muscle strength. If anything, I hope to come back stronger and quicker.

So we can start projecting a return date for Walcott now, if we want to get only slightly ahead of ourselves. A return in two-and-a-half weeks, for example, would have him back for the North London Derby against Tottenham Hotspur at the end of the month. That would be pretty cool -- for one, Theo usually does well against Spurs, but beyond that it would mean he could return against the last team he faced.