By Rob Kelly

Arsène Wenger has praised Abou Diaby’s “exceptional” focus - and insists he always knew the midfielder would come back from his injury problems.

The France international has only featured twice for Arsenal this season and made his last appearance in the 1-1 draw with Fulham in November.

Wenger is delighted to welcome Diaby back into the fold and says he never doubted the 25-year-old's hunger to return this season.

“I will never give up on a player as long as he has the desire,” said Wenger. “If I felt that in Diaby’s head he had given up, then I would have said yes.

“But he was always very focused. He’s an exceptional guy, Diaby. Such focus to do well is unbelievable.”

Diaby will travel to Anfield for Saturday’s lunchtime kick-off against Liverpool, but Wenger admits he is unlikely to start the midfielder.

“It would be a massive risk and I will only do it if I'm pushed into a situation where I have no real other choice,” he said.

“To lose him straight away again would be the end of the season for him and that's a question I have to answer until tomorrow. We have to see about Song. If he cannot play then I have to consider it.”

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2 Mar 2012