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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Abou Diaby closing in on Arsenal return

Arsenal midfielder Abou Diaby has not given up hope of returning to action before the end of the season -- and harbours an ambition to make it back in time to play for France at the World Cup.

Diaby has only made ten league starts for Arsenal over the past two seasons
Abou Diaby still believes he could go to the 2014 World Cup.

• Cross: Solid foundations

Diaby, 27, has not featured for the Gunners since damaging knee ligaments in March 2013.

However, after suffering with injuries since a fractured ankle in May 2006, Diaby feels he is closing in on a long-awaited comeback.

“I will take stock with Arsenal medical staff early in April, but I hope to resume collective training sessions very soon,” Diaby told FranceFootball.

“My priorities? Feeling fine and playing again before the end of the season. I don't think I will be scared to play. I trust my body. Nowadays I feel strong, but I know coming back to London I will also have some changes.

“I am watching closely my diet and recovering periods. I work hard without asking questions. I work hard because I know in the end I will play again.

“I am still a high level footballer in my mind, otherwise I would have given up, but I never think to give it up.

“Some people experience much more difficult things in their lives. I know my reward will be to have fun playing again.”

Diaby feels if he can produce a strong end to the domestic season with Arsenal, who are back in the race for the Premier League title after beating Tottenham and into the semifinals of the FA Cup, then that could lead to a recall for the French national team.

“The French team? I have never abandoned the idea to go to the World Cup,” he said. “I have always kept that in a corner of my mind to go on working.

“As soon as I will be back on the pitch, everything is possible.”

Information from the Press Association was used in this report.

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