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Diaby not expected back until early 2013

Abou Diaby

Arsenal’s injury plagued Abou Diaby isn’t expected to figure in the Gunners’ side until January at the earliest, but has been pencilled in to return to light training ‘within the next fortnight’.

The French international midfielder, who has managed to play just nine Premier League games in the last two seasons, has been out since early October after sustaining a troublesome thigh injury in the 2-1 defeat against Chelsea.

Diaby’s injury problems have prompted speculation that Arsenal may look for a replacement in the January transfer window, with West Ham’s combative midfielder Mohamed Diame the latest of several players to be linked this week.

Gunners’ boss Arsene Wenger recently admitted that Diaby’s continuous injuries are the result of his weakened muscle strength.

“I can tell you he has been everywhere in the world to be assessed”, said Wenger.

“There is an explanation. He is quick, strong, has good stamina, good resistance to repeat, but his muscle strength is not good enough to deal with that. Sometimes little fibres go in his muscles, this is basically his problem”.

Physio staff at London Colney have put Diaby on a regular training programme which has seen the former Auxerre man spend much of the past few months building up his fitness in the gym.

26-year-old Diaby is likely to be involved in a Arsenal Under-21s match towards the end of December, although the club have yet to decide on arranging a a ‘less competitive’ behind-closed-doors friendly for the Frenchman instead.

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