By Nick Teale

Arsène Wenger insists Robin van Persie's injury problems are not the striker's fault.

The Dutchman returned from a five-month lay-off in Wednesday's North London derby at White Hart Lane.

The 26-year-old has been restricted to just 136 starts in his six seasons at Arsenal, compared with 235 made by Cesc Fabregas in the same amount of time.

That's because Van Persie has suffered from toe, ankle and knee injuries over recent seasons. However, manager Wenger has defended his striker, claiming the injuries have not been down to him.

"It is disappointing but what can you do," said Wenger. "You live first from the quality of the player.

"If you say to me do you want to keep Robin van Persie? I say I want absolutely to keep him, hoping that next year he will have no injury.

"It is not his fault that he has been injured, he is a serious player. He doesn't go to discos, he lives seriously and he has been tackled against Italy and has been injured."

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16 Apr 2010