Injured Walcott pulls out of England squad & returns to Arsenal

The forward will miss the friendly against Euro 2012 runners-up Italy after injuring his thigh and is a doubt for the Gunners opening Premier League game against Sunderland
Theo Walcott has withdrawn from the England squad to face Italy with a thigh injury.

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The 23-year-old has returned to Arsenal as a precautionary measure and it remains to be seen whether he will be fit for their opening Premier League fixture against Sunderland at the weekend.

Three Lions boss Roy Hodgson has decided against calling up a replacement for the former Southampton man, as he looks to assess his options before England begin their 2014 World Cup qualifying matches.

Walcott has scored 4 times in 28 appearances for his country with three of those coming in one game against Croatia in 2008.

The forward established himself under Gunners boss Arsene Wenger last season scoring eight times and grabbing 11 assists in 35 league appearances.