By Giuseppe Muro

Kieran Gibbs has paid tribute to his team-mates for helping him through his unfortunate run of injuries over the past year.

The defender spent six months of last season on the sidelines after needing two operations on a broken metatarsal and his rotten luck has continued this campaign. Three separate problems have hampered Gibbs and limited the left back to just ten starts so far.

Gibbs admits a difficult period has been made easier by the support of the Arsenal squad.

“My team-mates have been fantastic when I have been in the treatment room,” he said. “They are always there telling me not to worry about it and there are players who have been through what I have been through, so they are telling me it’s not just me.

“I am always putting it on myself but they have said they had the same experiences and have got over it. Hopefully I am doing that now.

“I just want to stay injury free and stay on top of my fitness. It has been hard – I won’t lie – it’s been annoying and frustrating seeing your team play all the time, going there and limping off after 15 minutes.

“It’s going to take a good while to feel fully fit because I have been in and out and haven’t really played any games on the trot where I haven’t got injured.

“It’s been frustrating but I have got a few games under my belt now so hopefully I can put that behind me and keep going.”

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20 Jan 2011