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Arsenal Ace Eyeing Shock Early Injury Return
Arsenal midfielder Abou Diaby is eyeing a shock return to the first team and has even not given up hope of making it to this summers World Cup finals.
The 27-year-old hasn’t featured since a 2-0 win over Swansea almost exactly a year ago (March 16th 2013) after suffering a serious knee injury in training last season, and he wasn’t expected to return this season.
It was the latest in a long-list of injuries for the player and many thought this latest set-back would spell the end of his time at Arsenal, and possibly even see him retire from the game altogether.
However, he’s refused to give up and has been in the Alps this week for some high altitude training as he steps up his rehabilitation, and Diaby has now confirmed in an interview with France Football that he hopes to return to full training within the next few weeks.
“I will take stock with Arsenal medical staff early in April, but I hope to resume collective training sessions very soon,” he said.
“I never had such a long break. I never had a knee injury and it is really weird. You can feel physically there is something different. But I learnt a lot from my injuries. I can keep things in perspective.
“Even now I am very close to the end of my specific work, I keep things in perspective. I can master my impatience. I want to be back being strong, very strong and perfectly at ease in my body.
“I work hard without asking questions. I work hard because I know in the end I will play again. I am still a high level footballer in my mind, otherwise I would have given up. But I never think to give it up.
“It doesn’t mean I never had difficult moments, but I have always bounced back. Some people experience much more difficult things in their lives. I know my reward will be to have fun playing again.” [source: the Guardian]
Diaby was initially ruled out for around six months with the knee injury, but has suffered a number of set backs during the last 12 months. When you consider the amount of injuries he’s had to deal with throughout his career, you would forgive him for throwing in the towel, but he is aiming to be back playing for Arsenal before the end of the season and hasn’t given up hope of forcing his way into the France squad for this summers World Cup. He continued:
“My priorities? Feeling fine and play again before the end of the season. I don’t think I will be scared to play. I trust my body. Nowadays I feel strong, but I know coming back to London I will also have some changes. I am watching closely my diet and recovering periods.”
“I’ve never given up hope of going to the World Cup,”
“Thinking of that has kept me going. Once I’m back on pitch, everything’s possible.”
“Nine out of 10 players would have given up,” he said. “People who say Diaby is fragile are wrong. He is Highlander.”
Can you imagine, Diaby comes back next month to help steer Arsenal to a sensational Premier League and FA Cup double! It would the stuff dreams are made of, but I for one am not holding my breath.
He’s been out for so long it will take him weeks to get back up to full speed when he does eventually return to training and time is something we don’t have. Arsene Wenger would also be taking a huge risk in playing such a fragile player during a vital period where every game is like a cup final, so I think the best he can hope for is perhaps a run-out for the Under-21′s.
There’s a chance he could feature in the first team in the last couple of games if we’re out of the title race, but I wouldn’t be pinning my hopes on him playing any serious part in our run-in, which would make it virtually impossible for him to make the World Cup. Didier Deschamps is well-stocked in the central midfield department anyway so I think he’d struggle to force his way in even if he does return to full fitness before the end of the season.
Diaby will always remain one of the most talented players who will never have fulfilled his potential due to his injury problems. Such a shame.