By Chris Harris

Arsène Wenger says Abou Diaby is at a low ebb because he has worked so hard to regain his fitness this season.

The French midfielder missed the start of the season after undergoing ankle surgery during the summer and his comeback was further delayed by a minor muscular problem after he returned to training.

Diaby did return to action as a late substitute against Fulham last weekend but is now sidelined by a slight hamstring problem. Wenger has nothing but sympathy for a man he believes has put everything into his rehabilitation.

"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."

On the plus side, Wenger has no doubts that Diaby will be better than ever when he does shrug off his latest injury.

"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," said the manager. "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."

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2 Dec 2011