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Laurent Koscielny Injury: Updates on Arsenal Defender's Calf and Return

Manchester United's Marcus Rashford, left vies for the ball with Arsenal's Laurent Koscielny during the English Premier League soccer match between Manchester United and Arsenal at Old Trafford Stadium, Manchester, England, Sunday, Feb. 28, 2016. (AP Photo/Jon Super)
Jon Super/Associated Press
James DudkoFeatured ColumnistMarch 2, 2016

Arsenal centre-back Laurent Koscielny was ruled out of March 5's Premier League matchup with Tottenham Hotspur due to a calf injury. He is not expected to be a long-term absentee.

Continue for updates.

Wenger Comments on Koscielny Return

Thursday, March 10

"He is not far, he will have tests until Sunday, but it could come too soon. He has a little chance," Wenger said ahead of Arsenal's FA Cup quarter-final with Watford.

Mertesacker Key During Koscielny Absence

Despite Per Mertesacker's ample experience, some Gunners fans may worry about how the back four will cope without Koscielny. The former Lorient ace has been the closest thing Arsenal have had to a talisman in defence for years.

His anticipation and sure tackling have often bailed the Gunners out of tight spots this season.

Without Koscielny, Arsenal will need Brazilian Gabriel Paulista to accelerate his adaptation to England's top flight. The South American centre-back struggled mightily during the Gunners' recent 3-2 league defeat to Manchester United.

Wenger cited a struggle to master the English language as a reason for Gabriel's sketchy form, according to Metro's Max Miller.

With Gabriel struggling and only Calum Chambers as an obvious reserve, Wenger will need to lean on Mertesacker more than he might like. Yet that needn't be such a problem.

The German is often chided for his lack of pace, but Mertesacker is a steady head who reads the game expertly and knows how to organise the defence.

But even if Mertesacker proves his doubters wrong, Arsenal will still hope Koscielny's problem is only a temporary one.

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