Arsenal's Laurent Koscielny thought Diego Costa ended World Cup dream
Arsenal's Laurent Koscielny says he initially thought the injury that will keep him out of this summer's World Cup came from a Diego Costa tackle.
France defender Koscielny, 32, ruptured his Achilles' tendon during the Gunners' away defeat to Atletico Madrid in their Europa League semifinal second leg at the start of May.
"When I fell, I thought it was because [Diego] Costa had tackled me," Koscielny told the French Football Federation (FFF) website.
"But not at all. I looked around me and I was all alone. I immediately knew that my tendon had gone. The pain wasn't normal -- I felt a terrible rupture. And I heard a big 'splash' -- a huge crack. Costa, who wasn't far from me, heard it too.
"My first reaction was to say: 'It's done -- my tendon has snapped.' I was screaming on the pitch. I remember hitting my hand on the ground several times. It was an atrocious pain.
"At that exact moment, I knew that it would be at least six months before I could play again."
Having undergone ankle surgery, Koscielny predicts it will be five months until he kicks a ball again, but says he still hopes to play for the first team by November.
"Now that I'm 32 years old, my career is more behind me than in front of me," he added.
"I don't have the pressure of having to come back as quickly as possible -- of proving myself like a 20-year-old would have to after such an injury.
"It's my first big injury. That's the way it is. You have to have put it into perspective. Yes, I'm missing a World Cup with a good bunch of mates and great players. But there's worse in life. I'm in good health and my family are too."
Mark covers European football for ESPN FC. Twitter: @mrodden