Abou Diaby says he’s hoping to start playing with the ball again soon ahead of a possible return to action in March.
The French midfielder, who tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his knee eight months ago during training, was forced to undergo a further surgical procedure in October and is facing a race against time if he’s to make an impact for the Gunners before his contract ends in the summer.
“I hope to start playing with the ball soon, I’m taking my time,” he told Sport.fr.
Diaby, 27, has made only 92 starts for Arsenal since signing from Auxerre nearly eight years ago but despite earning plaudits for a purple patch at the start of last term has struggled to overcome the knock-on effects of a terible ankle injury inflicted on him by Sunderland’s Dan Smith in May 2006.
Upbeat despite his situation, Diaby admitted that playing for France at the upcoming World Cup would be a dream although he’s well aware his main focus is getting back on the pitch for the Gunners.
“If I can be the surprise of 2014, why not? A World Cup in Brazil is the type of thing you dream about.
“For now, I have to come back with my club and normally that would be late February or early March.”
All the best to Abou as he continues along the winding road to fitness. Arguably the most unlucky footballer to pull on an Arsenal jersey – in the Wenger era at least – he faces an uncertain future with a new deal at the Emirates looking very unlikely. That’s not to say he doesn’t have a role to play this year though. We’re going to need all the players we’ve got to maintain a title challenge.