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Bearded talisman relieved to be back...

After netting against West Ham United in Saturday, Arsenal midfielder Cesc Fabregas revealed his relief at getting back on the pitch after two weeks out with a hamstring injury.

The Spaniard, who returned to the Gunners line-up sporting an uncharacteristic beard, helped his side to a 2-0 win against West Ham that strengthened the club's title challenge.

"I hated being out for two weeks," Fabregas told the club's official website.

"I wanted to come back but I was a little concerned in the first half to see how the hamstring was.
 
"I also had a little bit of an infection on my face as well. I could not really train too much. So I took it a little bit easy. At the beginning it was tough but at the end I was strong."

And Fabregas revealed that it was the infection that had forced him to ditch the razor, explaining the burgeoning facial hair he displayed on Saturday.

"It was my throat," he said.  "That is why I have grown my beard - if I shaved you could see the lump."

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