- Associated Press - Thursday, October 9, 2014

PARIS (AP) - Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny has been ruled out of France’s upcoming friendly matches against Portugal and Armenia because of Achilles heel injuries.

Koscielny, who is suffering from tendonitis in both heels, has been released by France coach Didier Deschamps to return to Arsenal following discussions with the player and the team’s doctor, the French federation said on Thursday.

Koscielny’s withdrawal is also a source of concern for Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger after Germany and Gunners playmaker Mesut Ozil was sent back to London with a left knee injury expected to sideline him for 10 to 12 weeks.

Deschamps called up Roma center back Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa as a cover for Koscielny. The former Montpellier defender, who is on loan at Roma from Newcastle, has three international caps.

France hosts Portugal on Oct. 11 and plays in Armenia three days later. All are part of Group I in qualifying for the 2016 European Championship. France is already qualified as host.

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