Premier League

Walcott withdraws

Winger out of England squad for Italy friendly with bruised thigh

Theo Walcott: Will miss Wednesday's friendly with Italy through injury

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Theo Walcott has pulled out of the England squad for Wednesday night's friendly with Italy in Berne.

The Arsenal winger is suffering from a bruised thigh and has been withdrawn as a precautionary measure.

Walcott was used as an impact substitute during this summer's European Championship, coming off the bench to score against Sweden in the group stages.

The 23-year-old may have been in line for a start given the absence of several senior figures in Roy Hodgson's experimental squad ahead of next month's World Cup qualifier in Moldova.

But Walcott will now rejoin his club team-mates with a view to getting fit in time for the Premier League opener against Sunderland at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday.