Laurent Koscielny: Arsenal hopeful of quick return for defender

Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny walks off after suffering his injury against Fenerbahce

Arsenal are hopeful that defender Laurent Koscielny will be fit for the return leg against Fenerbahce after sustaining a head injury in the first leg.

The 27-year-old French centre-back was taken to hospital after being kicked by Fenerbahce forward Pierre Webo.

"He's like a boxer who had a hard fight the night before; lots of blood around his eye and a deep cut," said Wenger.

"Let's hope he recovers for next Tuesday against Fenerbahce."

Arsenal, who won the first leg of their play-off tie 3-0 in Istanbul, could not have played against Fulham in the Premier League on Saturday because he is suspended.

The Gunners are already missing one of their first-choice centre-backs, captain Thomas Vermaelen, until mid-September because of a back injury.

"Thomas is out running. He's on the pitches again, but there's still a good few weeks to go for him to get his fitness," added Wenger on the club's website.

Arsenal, who will be without midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain until November, have also suffered injuries to other key players such as Mikel Arteta this season while fringe players such as Andrey Arshavin, Denilson and Sebastien Squillaci have been allowed to leave.

With no recognised centre-backs on the bench against Fenerbahce, full-back Bacary Sagna had to fill in alongside Per Mertesacker in the middle of defence.

Webo was booked for the challenge that injured Koscielny, and Wenger said: "I was not happy with the kick because I feel always that you can ease a bit off. Only the player in the end will know what he did."

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