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THEO Walcott and Robin van Persie are both out of Arsenal’s forthcoming home games with Bolton and Braga, with the Dutchman not expected back until the middle of next month at the earliest, writes Jem Maidment.

England star Walcott was stretchered off during Tuesday’s 3-1 win over Switzerland in Basel after turning his ankle.

He was immediately taken to hospital but England manager Fabio Capello played down fears it was a long-term injury saying: “It’s a little problem, or not so big problem. He said [he’ll be back] in two weeks.”

An anxious Arsene Wenger will take a closer look at Walcott’s misfortune alongside his medical team at London Colney today.

Walcott has been in excellent form, scoring four times in the Premier League this season, and the Arsenal manager will be frustrated to lose him.


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It is not the first time the Gunners winger has picked up an injury while away on international duty – in November 2008 he was ruled out for several months after dislocating his shoulder while training prior to a friendly against Germany in Berlin.

Van Persie, whose injury problems have plagued his six years in north London, will miss the rest of September and much of the following month – including the crucial trip to Chelsea on October 3.

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The Dutchman is recovering from an ankle injury he picked up in the 2-1 win at Blackburn last month.

“Van Persie is likely to be out of action until mid-October,” a club statement said this week.

The Netherlands striker missed five months last season after injuring ankle ligaments while on international duty in Italy.

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