Watch: Emotional Story Of Laurent Koscielny’s Recovery From Devastating Injury
Laurent Koscielny played for Arsenal on Thursday night, his first match action since a devastating Achilles injury on May 3. On Friday, Arsenal Media released an in-depth documentary of the Gunners captain’s long road to recovery, from his injury in Madrid to his return.
The 24-minute film starts with Koscielny going down injured in the early minutes of the Europa League semifinal second leg against Atlético Madrid at the Wanda in Madrid. Initially the French defender thought he was kicked by Diego Costa (not an unreasonable assumption), but quickly realized no one was near and that his World Cup was over.
The documentary, similar to a recent one of former Arsenal teammate Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, follows Koscielny’s lengthy rehab up to his return to action in a meaningless match against Qarabag on Thursday.
Some notable moments:
- At halftime of the Europa League semifinal against Atlético, Koscielny’s France teammate Antoine Griezmann came into the Arsenal locker room and the two shared a cuddle. No words needed to be spoken — both understood the Arsenal center back’s World Cup was over.
- Koscielny took a philosophical approach at his injury, realizing he hadn’t had many injuries in his career and maybe it was just his time. He also took stock of which people in his life stayed in close contact throughout his recovery, recognizing these were the people who loved him the most.
- Koscielny wrote a letter to the French squad before the World Cup, telling them to play together as a team to succeed, perhaps a reference to some of France’s past failed World Cup campaigns.
- While Koscielny never complained about his injury, those close to him could tell how tough it was to watch France win the World Cup without him. Nonetheless, Koscielny was in Moscow with the team for the final.
- Koscielny said he doesn’t buy into the idea that an injury makes an athlete weaker: “I think you are … mentally stronger than any people who didn’t have an injury like you had.”