UNAI EMERY fears Laurent Koscielny will need nursing through the rest of the season.
The Arsenal skipper, 33, is available for today’s trip to West Ham after a late withdrawal before last Saturday’s FA Cup win at Blackpool.
Getty – Contributor4 Laurent Koscielny may be back after a lengthy spell on the sidelines but needs to be managed carefully
Getty – Contributor4 Unai Emery believes his captain will struggle to play more than once per week
But the Frenchman has struggled to cope with Arsenal’s punishing schedule after his long-term Achilles injury.
Gooners boss Emery admits Koscielny is struggling to play more than one game a week.
He said: “We pushed him to play after his injuries because we needed him as other players were not available.
“It was not easy for him to play three matches in one week.
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Getty Images – Getty4 Emery has had the added boost of Hector Bellerin, Nacho Monreal and four others all returning to training this week
4 This is how Arsenal could line up against West Ham today with a number of key players returning
“Little by little he is feeling better and this week has been perfect for him because we have had a rest in midweek.”
Koscielny sustained the injury during the Europa League semi-final against Atletico Madrid last May and only returned last month.
He has completed the full 90 minutes just twice but is expected to start when Arsenal travel to the London Stadium for the lunchtime kick-off.
Emery has received a much-needed boost this week with no fewer than SIX players fit again.