By Richard Clarke

Abou Diaby is likely to be out for a month after picking up a thigh injury.

The French midfielder missed the Amsterdam Tournament at the weekend because of the problem. The 22-year-old did go on Arsenal’s pre-season training camp in Austria last month but his game-time has been restricted to just 45 minutes against Juventus and 75 minutes against Real Madrid at the Emirates Cup.

The injury will be a bitter blow for Diaby as the departure of Mathieu Flamini and Gilberto has left a vacancy in his favoured central midfield position. Speaking at the Amsterdam Tournament, Wenger suggested Denilson may get the nod instead.

“I think Diaby will be out for about a month, it is his thigh,” said the manager. “He will not be available for the start of the season, so we will have to work on some things which I saw on Friday night [against Ajax].

“It worked well with Denilson and Fabregas that night. Of course you cannot say after just one match, you need a run of games to see if a [partnership] will work, but I am confident it will.”

Like Diaby, Samir Nasri missed the Amsterdam Tournament through injury. However his thigh/knee problem is not nearly as serious.

“It will be a short time, a matter of days,” said Wenger. “He could be available for Wednesday [at Twente], if not then for Saturday.”

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11 Aug 2008