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Shane Long could return from injury to face Gunners, surgery puts Theo Walcott out for three weeks

Updated: Tuesday, 24 Sep 2013 16:54 | Comments

Shane Long has been suffering from a knee injury
Shane Long has been suffering from a knee injury

West Bromwich Albion striker Shane Long could return to the fold for Wednesday's Capital One Cup match at home to Arsenal following a recent knee injury.

Republic of Ireland international Long is in contention along with captain Chris Brunt, who missed Saturday's win over Sunderland with a groin problem.

Meanwhile, Arsenal winger Theo Walcott will miss the West Brom tie and has been ruled out for three weeks because he needs stomach surgery.

Walcott was withdrawn from the Arsenal XI to face Stoke last weekend after feeling pain in his stomach, and the Gunners confirmed today that he needs surgery.

Walcott will miss England's crunch qualifiers against Montenegro and Poland as well as Arsenal's upcoming games against West Brom, Swansea and Napoli.

An Arsenal statement read: "Theo Walcott will have a minor procedure on his abdomen in Germany on Wednesday which will keep him out of action until after the next international break."

Walcott's injury is a blow for Arsenal, who have come to rely on the winger even more this season following the absence of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Santi Cazorla and Lukas Podolski.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger hopes to have the 24-year-old back for the game against Norwich on October 19, however.

Wenger said: "Theo will be out for a few weeks. He has developed some damage to his posterior abdominal wall. It's not a hernia, but it's a little structural problem in his abdomen.

"He will have the procedure in Germany on Wednesday and, because it's so minor, we can begin his rehab immediately. We are pleased it's being dealt with quickly and he shouldn't miss too many Arsenal matches. But he will miss the forthcoming international matches with England."

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