Theo Walcott: Missing World Cup a nightmare, says Ian Wright
England forward Theo Walcott may never "truly get over" missing out on the World Cup in Brazil, according to former Three Lions striker Ian Wright.
Walcott's England record
- Walcott made his England debut against Hungary in May 2006
- He was a shock inclusion in England's 2006 World Cup squad at the age of 17 before he had played in the Premier League
- He did not play at all in Germany but scored a hat-trick against Croatia in September 2008
- He was surprisingly left out of the squad for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa
- Scored at the Euro 2012 finals against Sweden
- Has won 36 caps, scoring five times
The Gunners said the 24-year-old will undergo surgery "in the near future" and ruled him out for the rest of the season and this summer's World Cup.
"He'll be devastated to miss a special World Cup," Wright, 50, told BBC Sport.
"With it being in Brazil - a fantastic place, a fantastic venue for the World Cup - it's a nightmare one to miss."
Arsenal's second-highest goalscorer with 185 goals in 288 appearances, Wright missed out on representing England at the 1998 World Cup in France because of a hamstring injury.
"It's one of those you don't truly get over," said the former Crystal Palace and West Ham striker, who scored nine goals in 33 international appearances.
He also thought Walcott's injury was a big setback for national boss Roy Hodgson, though Tottenham's Andros Townsend excelled during the former Southampton player's absence earlier this season.
"It's a massive blow for England," said BBC Radio 5 live 606 presenter Wright, who praised the way Walcott "terrorised" the Spurs defence during Saturday's 2-0 win.
"He's an intelligent lad. I'm sure he'll bounce back, but he'll be absolutely devastated."
Walcott is yet to play at a World Cup finals, despite being a surprise selection in Sven-Goran Eriksson's squad in 2006 when aged just 17.
Having made his international debut in a friendly against Hungary on 30 May, 2006, he has been capped 36 times, scoring five goals.
Walcott, who did not appear to be in severe pain as he was carried off in the second half of Arsenal's victory win over Tottenham. was sidelined for two months with a stomach problem but has scored five Premier League goals since returning in November.
He and Townsend had been expected to be in direct competition for a starting place at the World Cup, which starts on 12 June, with England's first match against Italy two days later.