The sight of Laurent Koscielny in full training was a welcome one over the course of the Interlull, as it suggested the skipper was ahead of schedule after suffering a very serious injury last May.
A ruptured Achilles tendon in our Europa League semi-final second leg kept the 33 year old out of France’s World Cup winning squad, something he described in painful terms in a recent interview.
Centre-half is also an area in which we lack real depth so Koscielny being available for selection again can only be a good thing.
However, while Unai Emery is pleased to have him back, he’s remaining cautious about his reintroduction to the first team.
“He is very important for us because he is our captain,” said the Spaniard.
“He is starting this week to do some training with us together and it is very, very good news for us.
“I think we need also to give confidence to him, to be close with us, because it was a big injury. But now he is getting better, he is training with us in some things and this is very positive.
“We need to be calm with him. Calm because we need after more than a month, feel first he is doing some things well.
“And then when he can play and do games in the training, we can think he is OK to play.”
Koscielny’s return was originally scheduled for the end of November, and it might well be a case that it takes that much time, but hopefully he can come back without the injury having had too much impact.