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."

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Isaac Moore 28 Mar 2014