Unai Emery has confirmed that Laurent Koscielny is moving ever closer to a first team comeback as he recovers from an injury which has kept him out of action for over 6 months at this stage.
The skipper ruptured his Achilles tendon against Atletico Madrid last May, and has been undergoing intensive rehab in the last few months. He is back in full training with the squad, but obviously needs some game time to get his match fitness up.
As such, he looks likely to make his return with a run-out for the U23s before he’s considered for more competitive action.
Speaking ahead of Sunday’s Premier League clash with Bournemouth, the Spaniard said, “Laurent Koscielny is close with us, which is good news.
“He started to train with us every day one month ago. The process with him is this international break he finishes training and now it is to start playing minute by minute.
“First, the idea is to play with U23s, but also I am looking at him and with his good performances and good feelings, he is close.
“Maybe Monday he can play with U23s.”
Koscielny’s return would be timely as Arsenal will play 11 times between November 25th and December 29th, a hectic schedule which will require as many fit and healthy players as possible.
However, there was some bad news earlier when it was reported that Nacho Monreal would spend another couple of weeks on the sidelines due to a hamstring strain.
Stephan Lichtsteiner is also out of this weekend’s game, while young centre-half Dinos Mavropanos appears to be no closer to a return to fitness as he battles an ongoing groin problem.