The phrase I have the most from people in the know describing the Theo Walcott injury incident has been something along the lines of the following…
‘…it reminded me a lot of when Pires did his…’
In fact, the two are very similar, almost identical. Robert Pires went in to a challenge with Nikos Dabizas of Newcastle United and fell awkwardly after evading the rumbustious Greek.
He, like Walcott, ruptured knee ligaments and was told it would take six months to recover.
He, like Walcott, was told he would not be going to the World Cup the upcoming summer.
The parallels are obvious - and when Walcott went down on Sunday evening, you sort of knew that the sheer innocence of the fall suggested seriousness.
So with this comparison being made - why not go back and focus on what could come next for Theo.
Following the incident for Pires in March 2002 - he documented many of his feelings in a diary for The Guardian paper.
That was a fine season for Pires - and he was awarded the Football Writers Player of the Year award despite his injury.
But his biggest battle was overcoming the injury. When it first occurred, he stated:
“I felt so miserable - I thought my whole life was shattered. My everyday life changed all of a sudden. The hardest part was that one had to practise patience. You are forbidden to do what you love, you don't get up in the morning, happy to be on your way to do the job you like so much. I was losing my habits, and it was so hard. I stayed at home, waiting, and it seemed very, very long.”
But he goes on to talk about the excellent support that was offered to him by Arsenal Football Club. They sent him to some of the best knee surgeons in the world, best rehabilitation therapists in the world and they must be doing similar these days - look at the prompt return of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain who is back in full training this week.
Pires went on to make his comeback in November of that year. He scored 14 goals in 20 Premier League starts after his comeback and went on to play three more full seasons at the club - becoming an ‘Invincible’ in the process.
So the sun might just be shining on the other side for Walcott - it was for Pires at least.