Walcott will not be involved against Sunderland as he continues his recovery from a knee injury and instead by involved in today's Under 21s away game at Stoke.
"He has to get used to contact again," said Wenger. "He has been out for nine months, it was a big injury and it takes time to settle, to get used to being kicked again. He has a game that exposes him and he needs to feel completely confident. But he is not far. I think fitness wise he is there, to play a part in the game. On the contact front I think he needs a little bit more time.
"He had a very difficult time, Theo. He's a very polite and social guy, but behind that, he's mentally strong as well. For what he has gone through in the last nine months, you gain even more respect for him because he had some difficult times and always responded very positively. He's got a young baby, where they had some problems but he has done extremely well."
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