Laurent Koscielny’s injury was expected to be a very serious one when he fell in the middle of the Wanda Metropolitano during Arsenal’s Europa League semi-final against Atletico Madrid in May.
Soon fears were confirmer when it turned out that Koscielny had ruptured his right Achilles.
The player’s World Cup dreams were trashed and instead he was left facing up to six-month spell on the sidelines.
However, the 33-year-old is now on the verge of returning Arsenal first-team as, according to sports physiotherapy expert Luke Anthony, Koscielny has overcome the heaviest difficulties.
“The biggest challenge with that type of surgery for any player, particularly an older player, is getting your power back in that leg,” Anthony told football.london.
“Your Achilles tendon is your main tendon that transmits the power through the lower part of your leg. People can return to running and low intensity training quite quickly, but the hard thing is getting your power back.
“To be able to push off that, to jump, twist, turn and accelerate to close people down. All the things you need to be able to do. That’s probably the biggest challenge any player will face after that surgery.”
“As you get older you recover less well. Things just generally take a bit more time. So that is the biggest challenge he [Koscielny] will face from the injury.
“The second thing is the risk or re-rupture. There is a percentage of players who will re-rupture their repair at some stage. Genuinely they do it during the first six months and he must be coming through that now, so that risks reduced a little bit.”
Anthony added: “It will take time. In my experience it may well be nine to 12 months until he’s at a good level of match play. It’s a bit like a cruciate ligament injury.”
Koscielny’s return will be a huge boost to Arsenal, who have once again struggled defensively this season – conceding 15 goals in their first 12 Premier League games.