Updates from Tuesday, April 15
Arsenal reports that Koscielny will be in today's lineup against West Ham:
#Arsenal team to play West Ham: Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Arteta, Rosicky, Kallstrom, Cazorla, Podolski, Giroud— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) April 15, 2014
Updates from Monday, April 14
Arsenal provides a statement from Arsene Wenger discussing Laurent Koscielny's injury status:
Updates from Thursday, April 10
Laurent Koscielny is expected to return to the Arsenal line-up during Tuesday's clash with West Ham.
Arsene Wenger revealed via the club's official Twitter:
Updates from Friday, April 4
Arsene Wenger has provided an official fitness update on Laurent Koscielny, confirming he could be back for next week's FA Cup semi-final against Wigan:
Wenger told Arsenal's official website: "He is still out. The earliest [he will be back] is next week, the latest is the week after."
Updates from Thursday, April 3
Laurent Koscielny is hoping he can play a part in Arsenal's FA Cup semi-final against Wigan, which takes place on Saturday, April 12.
The Mirror's John Cross reports that both Koscielny and Aaron Ramsey are nearing a return:
Aaron Ramsey, out since Boxing Day with a thigh injury, is due to rejoin training on Thursday and has a chance of making the squad for the FA Cup semi final - as does centre-back Laurent Koscielny (calf).
Jeremy Wilson of the Daily Telegraph noted the news via his Twitter account:
Wenger confirms that Wilshere, Ramsey, Ozil and Koscielny all at least two weeks away from coming back— Jeremy Wilson (@JWTelegraph) March 25, 2014
Koscielny's calf problem is the latest in a long line of injury concerns for Wenger.
The Frenchman joins an ever growing list that includes Mesut Ozil, Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey. His absence threatens to derail the Gunners' push for a Champions League place at the minimum, and the Premier League title at best.
Thomas Vermaelen, his replacement at Stamford Bridge, will continue to fill the void left by Koscielny, who is likely to miss the Premier League games against Manchester City and Everton, and potentially the FA Cup semi-final against Wigan Athletic.
That would potentially mean a first game back in another blood-and-thunder London derby against East London rivals West Ham United at Upton Park.
Which Arsenal partnership do you prefer?
Given the nature of the game, Wenger may not feel it's worth the risk, and instead give Koscielny a few extra days rest until the Saturday evening game against Hull City on April 19.
Vermaelen has barely featured this term. Just 10 appearances in all competitions (six as sub), per WhoScored, brings the threat of rustiness. During Tuesday's 2-2 draw against Swansea, it was Vermaelen who was caught napping as Wilfried Bony opened the scoring.
He may cast rueful eyes over Koscielny's record with central defensive partner Per Mertesacker who—prior to the 5-1 drubbing at Liverpool—had not lost a Premier League fixture when starting together since January 2012.
The German noted in an interview with Arsenal Player via Liam Prenderville of the Daily Mirror:
It sounds not real for me. When I first heard it, it sounded very weird. It's a good statistic but we have to build on that.
I've played with many good centre backs with different qualities.
But Laurent, he's one of the quickest players I've ever played with, one of the most mobile players, and he anticipates a lot of balls well so he has real strengths to be a good partner.
Mertesacker did, however, note the importance of Vermaelen to Arsenal in an interview with Arsenal Player via Ben Jefferson of the Daily Express:
I think when I speak about our centre-backs I want to include always Thomas Vermaelen because he's our captain and he's always vital for everyone.
He's aware of situations, he gives us a boost, he came back from a heavy injury.
Clearly though it is Koscielny who forms the backbone of this Gunners side alongside Mertesacker, and ex-Arsenal captain Tony Adams noted via the Telegraph's Wilson:
"You need to play with your mate on a regular basis to gain confidence and I think that really worked for Arsenal."
With Everton now breathing down Arsenal's neck for fourth spot, Arsene Wenger will be hoping Mertesacker's mate is back in the starting line-up sooner rather than later.