Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has hinted Theo Walcott will not start against Burnley.
The winger is recovering from a cruciate knee ligament injury, and Arsene Wenger insists the star is fully recovered, but is short in terms of match practice.
Unfortunately, the intensity of must-win Premier League games are no place to experiment for Wenger's side at present, and the Frenchman is reluctant to throw him straight in.
He told Arsenal.com: "I don’t know if Theo will play against Burnley. We dropped points at home unexpectedly against Hull and that¹s why we have to focus on winning the Burnley game before I can plan giving Theo some competition."
Walcott was named on the bench against Sunderland at the weekend but was an unused substitute.
It was likely Wenger only intended on playing the winger, if Arsenal had gone into an unassailable lead with plenty of time to spare.
Walcott will have to cross his fingers his Arsenal teammates can step up and do the business early on at home to Burnley, get the game won with half an hour to spare, and earn him some playing time over the closing stages. Even if just for 10 minutes, it will be major progress, in a comeback from an injury which occurred in early January.
Wenger added: "I’m very happy because Theo doesn’t look bothered about the injury that happened to him even though he has been out for 10 months.
"I have to give him competition slowly in the next three or four weeks."