Koscielny backs Bellerin to return from injury stronger than ever
Arsenal centre-back Laurent Koscielny has advised his teammate Hector Bellerin to “enjoy life” during his recovery from injury, saying that he must try to come back stronger than ever.
The Spaniard suffered a season-ending anterior cruciate ligament injury in Arsenal’s 2-0 win over Chelsea in the London derby on Saturday. Bellerin has been in and out of the team due to recurrent injuries since December and he re-injured himself as soon as he returned to full action.
And Koscielny, who himself recovered from a long-term Achilles injury to play a part in recent weeks, has backed his teammate to make full use of the time away from the pitch before returning to action.
“As I said to him yesterday, ‘Put football on the side and enjoy a bit of your life with your family and friends’,” Koscielny told Sky Sports. “He is starting a new chapter of his career.
“It will be long but he is a strong boy and I know he has the people around him to help him and be back as soon as possible and stronger than before.
“He knows all the team are here to help him because we know he will have some difficult moments during his rehab, like Rob [Holding] and Danny [Welbeck], but they know all the team are here and behind them to help them come back with us and help us to have results together.”
The 33-year-old reflected back on his Achilles injury that he suffered last May, saying that it was very difficult for him to cope with the trauma of missing the World Cup.
“It was very hard during some moments because I missed the World Cup,” said the France defender. “But you learn a lot about life, you are more positive about football because you know it’s just a small part of your life, and you have some good things off the pitch.
“I discovered a lot about life so I was surprised about that. I was very focused on my rehab so sometimes you are in a bubble and you can’t see people trying to help you to be back as soon as possible.