We’re getting to that stage of the season when any slight setback puts a player’s World Cup dreams in real jeopardy.
And Laurent Kosicelny’s freak injury against Atletico Madrid tonight falls right into that category.
During Arsenal’s crunch Europa League semi-final second leg in the Spanish capital the Gunners’ captain went down in a heap with no player really anywhere near him.
Diego Costa was the closest and, instinctively, everyone assumed the wily Spaniard had something to do with it.
In reality Koscielny just appeared to crock himself badly trying to change direction.
The Frenchman was instantly in a world of pain, slamming the floor in frustration with his anguish clear to see.
Koscielny has a damaging history of Achilles problems and has required injections to play through the pain barrier.
And with the World Cup just six weeks away now, the early signs aren’t positive at all.
Koscielny received some warm commiserations from the Atletico players – including compatriot Antoine Griezmann – as he was stretchered off.
But it’s a hammer blow to Arsenal who had to call on Calum Chambers to replace their captain.
Griezmann and Costa? European semi-final? Piece of cake for the young defender…
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