Cape Town - Arsenal manager Unai Emery admits he can start thinking about including Laurent Koscielny in his plans as the defender nears his long-awaited comeback from injury.
The France international has yet to feature for the Gunners this season as he recovers from an Achilles injury sustained in the Europa League semi-finals against Atletico Madrid on May 3.
Koscielny was forced to miss Les Bleus' triumphant 2018 World Cup campaign after undergoing surgery, but he's making good progress and has returned to training with his club.
Emery revealed that the 33-year-old centre-back could come into the reckoning after the international break, with their final two Europa League group games against Vorskla and Qarabag a perfect opportunity to ease him back into action.
"The most important is his feeling every day and that he can feel better at each training," the Spaniard said.
"He is close to being with us and also (playing) in the competition games but, at the moment, we are happy with him, he is feeling well.
"He is getting better every day and we are going to think after the internationals. I hope we can continue working and start to think about him playing games."
Koscielny is the second longest-serving player in the current squad behind Aaron Ramsey, having joined the north London giants from Lorient in 2010.