Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny ruled out injured for at least six months
LONDON -- Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has said defender Laurent Koscielny will be sidelined for at least six months after having surgery on his torn Achilles tendon.
France international Koscielny was injured early in Arsenal's Europa League semifinal first leg defeat at Atletico Madrid and will miss the World Cup, with Wenger telling a news conference that he would also sit out several months of next season.
"Koscielny is, of course, devastated because he had surgery. That means he will be out for six months," the manager said.
"You will not see him before, certainly, the end of December, or the beginning of December at best."
Later on Tuesday, Koscielny posted a message on Instagram which read: "I would like to thank you for all the messages received further to my injury. The operation went well, it's a new step that begins for me ... I'm determined to fight not only for myself but also for my family, my friends and all the people who support me."
Je tenais à vous remercier pour les nombreux messages reçus depuis ma blessure. L'opération s'est bien passée, c'est une nouvelle étape qui commence pour moi... je suis déterminé à me battre, pas seulement pour moi mais aussi pour ma famille, mes amis et tous les gens qui me soutiennent... À très vite lolo 💪🏼 I would like to thank you for all the messages received further to my injury. The operation went well, it's a new step that begins for me ... I'm determined to fight not only for myself but also for my family, my friends and all the people who support me ... See you soon lolo 💪🏼
Wenger also ruled out the chances of midfielder Santi Cazorla playing in either of Arsenal's last two Premier League games, at Leicester and Huddersfield, while it remains likely that Mesut Ozil will miss them with a back problem.
Cazorla recently returned to training for the first time in 18 months after needing 10 operations on an Achilles problem, raising hopes that he could make another appearance before his contract expires in the summer.
But Wenger said there was no point in risking a setback by throwing the midfielder back into the action, adding: "He will not be ready to play in the final game. Medically, people tell me it's too much of a risk to rush him back now."
Ozil missed Wenger's final home game against Burnley on Sunday with inflammation in his back, and Wenger said that although the Germany midfielder could "maybe" play against Huddersfield it was "unlikely."
"He was in yesterday for treatment. He still has a back problem," he said. Even at halftime at Madrid he had that problem.
"For me it looks unlikely now that he will play before the end of the season, because he doesn't practice."
The manager also dismissed a report claiming that Ozil's teammates have grown unhappy with the large number of games he has missed this season.
"Football players are not like that," he said. "If he's injured, he's injured. It looks like that sometimes when a player can go over the pain [barrier] for one game, and after he has a recurrence of inflammation.
"That's what happened to him. He wanted to play on Sunday. It was a game that was enjoyable to play. But at the moment he's injured."
Mattias is ESPN FC's Arsenal correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @MattiasKaren.