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.”Copyright 2013 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 11 Aug 2008