Arsenal’s Theo Walcott is prepared to take his time as he recovers from severe injury, even if it means missing the start of next season.
The 25-year-old England international saw his dreams of playing at this year's World Cup in Brazil dashed when he ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during the closing stages of Arsenal's FA Cup third-round victory over arch-rivals Tottenham in January.
Speaking to the official Arsenal matchday magazine for Monday's Premier League clash against Newcastle, Walcott said: “I am not pushing myself to be fit for the World Cup or anything like that. I want to be back quickly, of course, but safely, too.
“I want to try and be back for the early part of next season, that is the goal, so there will be a lot of hard work throughout the summer and during the World Cup.”
He added: “It has nearly been four months now and my recovery has gone on track so far.
“At the moment, I'm working on muscle strength and building muscle in my quad.
“I don't see any point in being down in the dumps about the injury because it has already happened and there are a lot of people with worse problems in the world.
“I will just get on with my work – I am first in and last out on most days.
“I see the consultant soon, too, and hopefully he will give me the thumbs up to push on. I would love to be running in a few weeks.”