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Arsenal manager delivers positive injury update on key defender

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Arsenal manager Unai Emery has delivered a positive injury update on Laurent Koscielny in the aftermath of the club’s FA Cup third round triumph against Blackpool at Bloomfield Road.

The Gunners skipper was primed to start the Cup outing against the Seasiders on Saturday but an unexpected injury setback in the warm ups meant that he was replaced with Carl Jenkinson in the starting lineup.

Still, the north London side managed to win the Cup tie with relative ease with Stephan Lichtsteiner slotting into the central defence alongside Sokratis Papastathopoulous and speaking after the game, Emery provided an update on the skipper’s fitness.

In a report covered by Arsenal.com, the Spanish tactician confirmed that the long-standing defender had indeed picked up a back problem but he remains optimistic that the setback is only for the short term.

He added that the defender has the entire week to overcome the latest injury and hopefully, the Frenchman can feature from off when the Gunners face West Ham United on the road in the weekend’s league fixture.

“Yes [it’s a back problem]. I hope it’s not bad. He has one week to rest and to work, thinking about the next match against West Ham. I hope he’s going to be OK for the next matches. We decided it was better for him to not play,” he said.

Arsenal are currently with just one fit senior central defender in the form of Sokratis but there are likely to find some relief for the upcoming derby with Nacho Monreal, who has occasionally slotted into central defence, returning to full fitness.

Likewise, Hector Bellerin should return to the fray after recovering from a calf problem sustained in mid-December and the pair could be joined by Koscielny in the lineup, provided he has only sustained a minor niggle as explained by Emery.

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