Laurent Koscielny has revealed that he will require daily treatment on his Achilles for the rest of his playing career.
The France international was diagnosed with chronic tendinitis in both feet back in 2014 but has worked hard to maintain a level of fitness that means he still plays the majority of Arsenal’s fixtures. To date, the 31-year-old has played 290 games for the Gunners – an average of 41.4 per season since he signed in 2010.
While the problem is, for the most part, manageable, at this time of the season, with games coming thick and fast, Koscielny recognises that it’s sometimes better to take a breather rather than put his body through undue stress. He’s expected to miss tonight’s game with Sunderland due to the problem.
“I have some problems,” he’s quoted as saying by the Evening Standard.
“Now it is better. I know it is a difficult injury because you need to work every day on this. Every morning I have my treatment for my Achilles and I know I need to do this to the end of my career.
“Now, every day I do this and it is OK but sometimes with all the games we play every three days, it is difficult and I need to have a rest to recover well for my Achilles. That’s why last time I was injured but now it is OK with this.
“It is not difficult but you need to be careful with this because if you stop doing your own exercise programme for one or two weeks, the problem will come back. I know now I need to do this every day to be fit for my team.
“I am prepared to miss Sunderland to be fit for the last two games of this season. Sometimes it is better to miss one game to be fit for the others.”
Back in April, Gary Neville questioned Koscielny’s commitment to the cause claiming the Frenchman too often quit the field of play during matches.
“Koscielny always goes off,” Neville told Sky Sports. “He’s a centre-back. He plays to half-time and then goes off. He might have a bit of a problem with his Achilles and I might be being very harsh, but he went off against Bayern Munich and went off in a big game today.”
In light of the latest comments by Kos, that judgement looks not just harsh but plain wrong.