Abou Diaby is lower than a limbo dancer at the bottom of a ravine. That’s according to Arsene Wenger who confirmed this afternoon that his compatriot will be out for another ten days with a tight hamstring.
The midfielder has made just two brief substitute appearances since the end of last season, but despite recovering from another surgery on the ankle which was snapped by Sunderland’s Dan Smith in 2006, is again facing a spell on the sidelines.
Speaking about the mental state of his player, Wenger explained:
“The players are always impatient to come back and when they come back and they get injured, you think you have done it too early,” said Wenger. “But we felt with the fitness coaches that he was ready to play.
“He got injured again and it’s a minor injury but at the moment I must say he is very low because he has put a lot of effort in to come back.
“He has not played one game since the start of the season and he is going through a very difficult moment just now because he has put so much dedication into his rehab. To be injured straight away again is very difficult to take for him. He has been out many times like that.”
There are thought to have been serious concerns last season about Diaby’s ability to ever play again consistently at the highest level. However, having turned down a £10 million offer in the summer, Wenger is insistent that his Auxerre acquisition can return to his peak.
“I had the fear he would never get back to his best before his last surgery because he didn’t look comfortable to me with his ankle. Now I am convinced he will come back to his full potential.
“At the moment he has to keep strong and continue because it is a small injury.”
You have to feel for Diaby. An incredibly frustrating player to watch on one of his bad days, he is a majestic presence in the heart of midfield when he is on song.
With a lengthy run in the side you sense he might iron out the idiosyncrasies and become a world-beater, but it really does 100% depend on his fitness. He is certainly lucky to have a manager as patient as Arsene Wenger, and with a couple of years left to run on his deal he still has time to turn things around.