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Abou Diaby tears ACL, raises issue of injury prevention at Arsenal

Mar 28, 2013, 2:42 PM EDT


With the news that Abou Diaby tore the anterior cruciate ligament of his left knee in training on Wednesday, it’s hard to avoid thinking about how prevalent injuries have become at Arsenal.

The club released the following statement regarding the France international: “Abou Diaby injured his left knee in training on Wednesday and subsequent scans have confirmed that he has torn his anterior cruciate ligament. Following consultations with specialists, Abou will undergo surgery to repair the injury in the near future.

“Abou is expected to be out for around eight to nine months. The thoughts and best wishes from everyone at Arsenal are with Abou, and we all wish him a successful recovery.”

The news of Diaby’s injury is just plain sad. Since joining the North London club from Auxerre in 2006, the 26-year-old has repeatedly been stricken with injuries. It began with the fracture and dislocation of his ankle in May 2006 and since then he’s repeatedly been hampered by lingering ankle and calf issues.

When healthy – which obviously isn’t very often – it’s a pleasure to watch the languid Frenchman patrol the center of the park. The man has freaky physical attributes and a delicate touch that allows him to take over games and dominate opponents. Unfortunately, it may be a long time before we witness those kind of displays.

Diaby joins teammates Jack Wilshire and Theo Walcott on the Arsenal injury list, the former having suffered an ankle injury during the March 3rd North London Derby and the later hampered by a pelvic problem developed over the international break. For a club with aspirations of moving up the league table and into a Champions League position, the news is difficult to swallow.

But Diaby’s ACL tear raises an even bigger question: Is there a club in the Premiership that suffers more devastating injuries than Arsenal?

I don’t think so. Further, does it not seem like the healing timeline for Arsenal’s injured players is longer than that of other clubs? Perhaps it’s mere coincidence. Or, perhaps it’s time Arsene Wenger takes a hard look at why his players seem to break down so easily and recover so slowly. Training methods, dietary restrictions and even medical personnel – it all needs to be questioned if the Gunners are to put the kibosh on one of the club’s most serious problems.

Whatever the reason, when it comes to injury prevention, something just isn’t working at the Emirates.

  1. nygiantstones - Mar 28, 2013 at 3:26 PM

    Bloody hell. Sick of Diaby. To be honest, when he was healthy he was great at time and nonexistent at other times. He needs to go now. His body is way too frail for the EPL.

    Not sure I agree about the other injuries…yes there have been a few but I think the real issue here is the combination of having speedy/lithe players (Walcott, Gibbs) and a lack of a deep bench to help rotate players and keep them fresh (Vermaelen).

    You can’t really blame Wenger or Arsenal for injuries that happened to Wilshere or Ramsey. The EPL is a very physical league and Arsenal plays a style of football that excels with smaller, quicker players. It is what it is.

  2. unclemosesgreen - Mar 28, 2013 at 6:58 PM

    Too bad, when Diaby is in good form his touch is silky and his vision is first rate.

  3. unclemosesgreen - Mar 28, 2013 at 6:59 PM

    Good call on his languor – in that regard he’s most similar to Berbatov for me. A glider.

  4. scott47a - Mar 28, 2013 at 10:43 PM

    Guy is always, always hurt.
    I hardly see yet another injury for him as some sort of indictment of Arsenal’s training or trainers.

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