Arsenal boss provides Koscielny injury update

Laurent Koscielny has been ruled out of the North London derby.

Arsene Wenger says Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny only has a short injury but will not be available to face Tottenham Hotspur or Hull City next Tuesday, the club’s official website report.

The France international picked up a calf strain in the 3-2 defeat at Manchester United and subsequently missed his side’s encounter with Swansea City in midweek.

When quizzed on his availability, Wenger says the injury isn’t serious but will rule Koscielny out of the North London derby and the FA Cup 5th round replay with Hull City at the KC Stadium.

“Koscielny is out. He has a small injury but he is out tomorrow and Tuesday next week. It’s a grade one, so it’s a very short period. I don’t think he’ll be available on Tuesday but next Saturday he should be alright,” Wenger explained.

The former Lorient man has been such a key figure for the Gunners this season, starting 24 Premier League matches and helping his side post a number of clean sheets.

Koscielny is widely regarded as the club’s best centre-back and one of the best defenders in the league.

His absence for the North London derby at White Hart Lane this weekend poses Wenger a big problem, as duo Per Mertesacker and Gabriel Paulista hardly exuberate confidence.

Petr Cech’s absence is also a real blow for Arsenal, and without their two stand-out players at the back, Wenger’s side arguably head to White Hart Lane this weekend as the underdogs.

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