Abou Diaby has been ruled out of action for eight to nine months after suffering a serious knee injury in training, Arsenal have confirmed on their official site.
Diaby, who has suffered a succession of injuries ever since a horror tackle from Dan Smith at Sunderland in May 2006, picked up the injury on Wednesday afternoon, with subsequent scans revealing the extent of the damage.
The tear to his anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee puts an end to another injury-hit campaign for the Frenchman, who has struggled for consistency since a hamstring problem curtailed what had been a hugely impressive start to the season.
Having made just one single start for the Gunners last season, Diaby had hoped for a more successful season after completing a full pre-season program with the club last summer.
Niggling hamstring injuries have resulted in a stop-start season for the international midfielder, and this latest injury puts increased pressure on an already strained Arsenal midfield going into the final nine Premier League games of the campaign.
Jack Wilshere is expected to be out for a further fortnight, meaning that Arsene Wenger will have to turn to the likes of Aaron Ramsey, Tomas Rosicky and Francis Coquelin to fill the void in his three man midfield.
Looking longer term, it is difficult to see a bright future for Diaby at Arsenal, but nevertheless it is sad to see a player with such undoubted talent have their career ravaged by a fragile body, that stemmed from an awful tackle almost seven years ago.
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