Theo Walcott (Photo: Reuters)
England winger Theo Walcott is expected back in training in August as he steps up his recovery from knee surgery, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said.
Walcott has been sidelined since January after suffering knee ligament damage in an FA Cup victory against Tottenham.
The injury required an operation, ruling Walcott out of Arsenal's successful FA Cup run, which finally ended the club's long trophy drought, and also forcing him to miss the World Cup.
But the 25-year-old, who recently became a father for the first time, is back in light training as Arsenal begin their pre-season preparations and Gunners boss Wenger is hopeful the winger will be back in action soon after the start of the new Premier League season next month.
"He's progressing very well," Wenger told Arsenal's website.
"He's worked very hard during the summer and we expect him to be back in full training at the end of August.
Wenger also suggested Walcott would be fast-tracked back into the team as soon as he has proved his fitness.
"Once he's back in full training it can be very quick. He has a good basis, which is what he's working on now," Wenger added.