Arsenal forward Theo Walcott told reporters after the Brighton match that it’s going to take time to reach full fitness but he was happy to return to goal scoring ways, the Independent reports.
The 25-year-old spent the majority of 2014 recovering from a knee ligament injury sustained last January in a 2-0 FA Cup third round victory over North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur.
As a result of injury, Walcott missed a number of key events such as the Gunners’ FA Cup final triumph over Hull City as well as the World Cup in Brazil.
The former Southampton youth product made his official comeback with a 10-minute cameo in the 3-0 win over Burnley in November, though it wasn’t long until he suffered another setback.
Sunday’s FA Cup encounter with Brighton was only Walcott’s second start in 12 months, and he told reporters after the match that he’s still some way off full fitness.
“I’ve been out for a year so it’s going to take time to get match fitness back. I was blowing hard towards the end,” he was quoted as saying by the Independent.
The forward may not be entirely match-fit but that doesn’t mean he’s lost his ability to find the back of net as he opened the scoring after two minutes.
In a swift start by Arsene Wenger’s men, Walcott clinically finished off a Calum Chambers cross from the right, a goal which the England international promises will be the first of many.
“I was pleased with the finish, and there’s definitely going to be many more,” he explained.
The Gunners’ entertaining 3-2 victory over the Championship strugglers secures their place in the hat for the fifth round draw which is set to take place on Monday.
With Chelsea, Manchester United, Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur already eliminated from the competition, the North Londoners may now fancy themselves as favourites for a return to Wembley.