Arsène Wenger says Abou Diaby is close to fitness but he is unsure whether the France international will play this season.

Diaby has been sidelined with a knee injury for over a year but has completed the rehabilitation process of his comeback in his home country.

Maybe I will have a good surprise when I see him

The midfielder is due to return to full training next week but Wenger will be patient with him.

"Diaby is coming back now," he said. "He had a preparation in France, where he had his rehab, and will be back to full training on April 1.

"Let's not forget he has not played for a year. I cannot predict now how much time it will take him to be competitive.

"I cannot plan for him to play a role now in the coming games, but maybe I will have a good surprise when I see him."

Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source Isaac Moore 28 Mar 2014