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Assessing the state of Man United, Chelsea

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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Theo Walcott close to return

Arsene Wenger has confirmed that Theo Walcott should return to his squad at the end of August.

- Wenger expects tight title race
- Djourou completes Hamburg move

Walcott is continuing his recovery from a ruptured anterior cruciate knee ligament he suffered during Arsenal's FA Cup clash with Tottenham in January and, although he recently said it had "pretty much healed," he will miss the start of the new Premier League season.

Wenger expects Walcott to return to full training no later than the start of September -- meaning the 25-year-old should be fit for their first derby with Tottenham on Sept. 27.

"Theo Walcott is planned to come back into my group on Aug. 31, beginning of September at the latest," Wenger said. "He is doing well but he is not completely ready. I would say he could play at the end of August."

Walcott did not feature for the rest of last season and missed England's World Cup campaign in Brazil this summer.

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