Laurent Koscielny was on course to play for France at the 2018 World Cup until a ruptured Achilles tendon left him in agony, but the experienced defender already has a plan in place for coping with a period of enforced inactivity.
The Arsenal centre-back suffered the injury during the Gunners’ Europa League semi-final defeat to Atletico Madrid and is not expected to be back in action until November, when Unai Emery’s first campaign in charge will be well under way.
Koscielny’s recovery is progressing but, in an interview with France Football, he laid bare the moment he knew his Russia 2018 dream had died.
“I knew right away that my tendon had let go,” he said. “The pain was not usual, I felt a terrible break.
“My first reaction was to say to myself, “It’s dead, my tendon has burst’. I screamed on the pitch… excruciating pain.”
In terms of his rehabilitation programme, Koscielny acknowledged it is early days and his routine at the moment includes plenty of taking it easy.
“My programme? Television, crosswords and Nintendo,” he said.
“I am now wearing a boot, which allows me to walk on crutches.
“In three months I hope to resume light jogging. In five months I could certainly retouch the ball.”