Arsenal assistant Bould hopeful Diaby can return stronger after recent setback

The Frenchman tore his anterior cruciate ligament during a training session that could see him miss up to nine months of his already injury-plagued Arsenal career

Steve Bould believes Arsenal midfielder Abou Diaby can take advantage of his recent injury lay-off and return a stronger player.

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The 26-year-old France international has only managed 18 appearances in the Premier League in the last two years and is set to miss the next nine months after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament in training last week.

Diaby has been troubled with injuries for most of his Arsenal career since his move from Auxerre in 2006 but Bould believes he still has a big future at the club.

“I've spoken to him very briefly,” the assistant manager told Arsenal Player. “I saw him just before he went for his scan. It's dreadful news for Abou.

“As we all know, he's had seven years of injuries and it takes a huge character to come back. Maybe it's a chance for him to correct everything that was going wrong. That's the positive that he can go forward with.

“He might use the seven or eight months to get rid of all those injuries that he was struggling with. We're all hoping and praying that he comes back a better player.”