Having sustained a serious Achilles injury at the age of 32, it is only natural to wonder what impact it might have on Laurent Koscielny.
But our medical team are convinced that our club captain could come back as strong as he was previously, if not even stronger.
"It’s not very easy to say this, but actually an enforced period of rehabilitation and recuperation can actually help a player extend his career and help a player to concentrate on areas of his career that potentially could have been improved," medical director Dr Gary O'Driscoll says.
"His speed, his pace, his agility, his endurance. So, while we can’t say for certain that he’ll come back, with all our markers at the moment there is no deficit there whatsoever at this stage.
"And in fact, in certain areas he’s looking stronger. His attitude is so positive, we’re all so positive and there’s no reason to believe whatsoever that he can’t become the player he was, if not better."
Director of high performance, Darren Burgess, agrees that the work that has taken place over the last seven months will have a beneficial effect.
"One of the things with Laurent in this particular injury is that he relies on his pace a lot and he’s a very deceptively quick player, so the biggest challenge that we have is to try and return his speed to his Achilles, because the Achilles stores a lot of elastic energy and it’s largely responsible for your speed," he said.
"So what this injury has enabled us to do is actually make his Achilles stronger and more durable than probably what it was before. Having a little bit of time out from the game, and the regular exposure of jumping, sprinting and tackling that Laurent does, may actually help him.
"We don’t know that yet, it’s still too early to tell, but I’m pretty confident, just like Laurent is, that he will come back even better and more resilient than when he left us."
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