Promising signs for Diaby
There may some light at the end of the tunnel for injured Olympique de Marseille recruit Abou Diaby, the France and former Arsenal midfielder making good progress in his recovery from recurring injuries.
For the first time since signing for Marseille at the end of July, Abou Diaby has pulled on a pair of bots and worked with a ball in training, suggesting that Marseille's gamble in signing the former Auxerre midfielder, who has had no fewer than 41 injuries since having his ankle broken just four months after arriving at Arsenal back in 2006.
Diaby's ball-work may not have been with the whole squad - it was a part of his individual recovery programme under the supervision of club doctor Christophe Baudot - but it is progress nonetheless, attributed by some to his recent trip to Saint Petersburg to consult the same specialist who had Paris Saint-Germain's David Luiz back in action in record time after a hamstring tear last season.
The signs are promising for the France international, widely seen as one of the best midfielders of his generation if also one of the unluckiest in terms of his injury portfolio, and Arsenal boss Arsène Wenger believes the best is yet to come for Diaby.
"I'm a huge fan of Abou Diaby," Wenger said recently of the France international. "I believe from the bottom of my heart that he can remain injury-free until the end of his career. A new start is a great thing for him. He's 29 years old and can still play three or four years at the highest level."