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England's Theo Walcott to stay in hospital after 'fierce' challenge

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England boss Roy Hodgson says Theo Walcott will stay overnight in hospital after suffering a "fierce" challenge in their 5-0 win against San Marino.

The Arsenal winger, 23, was substituted with a chest injury after he was poleaxed by goalkeeper Aldo Simoncini inside the first 10 minutes at Wembley.

"If I described the challenge as reckless I would be being kind. It was a very fierce challenge," said Hodgson.


Theo Walcott has only completed 90 minutes for England twice - both times against Andorra.

Walcott, who was left struggling to breathe following the clash, is now a major doubt for England's crucial World Cup qualifying tie against Poland on Tuesday.

Hodgson's team moved to the top of Group H with an efficient, if not spectacular, win against San Marino and another three points in Warsaw would strengthen their grip.

Walcott did manage to walk off the Wembley pitch following extensive treatment, but then needed to be stretchered back to the changing room.

Hodgson added: "We have to find out the extent of his injury but he will be in hospital overnight and he will be having a scan.
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"It is a chest injury. It didn't look good and until such time as they have X-rayed it and scanned it I really don't know."

England struggled to break down their stubborn visitors, ranked 207th in the world, before Wayne Rooney and Danny Welbeck netted twice in the space of three first-half minutes.

Rooney, Welbeck and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain added further goals after the break to give a flattering complexion to the scoreline.

Hodgson added: "In normal circumstances the San Marino goalkeeper would have been sent off and we would have gone 1-0 up from a penalty earlier on.

"Had the referee given the penalty and sent the keeper off, which he should have done, we would have scored more goals."