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Mar 17, 2011

Djourou hopeful over injury

Johan Djourou remains optimistic that he will feature during Arsenal's title run-in after having a decision over shoulder surgery postponed by a week.

• Vermaelen no nearer return
• Fans concerned by prices

Arsene Wenger initially ruled the Switzerland international out for the season after he dislocated a shoulder in a collision with Bacary Sagna during the Gunners' FA Cup defeat at Manchester United.

But an assessment by the Swiss FA, which suggested that Djourou's injury was not as bad as first feared, offered the defender fresh hope - and a specialist's decision to delay a judgement on an operation has given him a further boost.

"In my heart, I was initially hopeful because they said to me that I didn't have a rupture and nothing was broken so I was thinking: 'Brilliant, I can get back as quickly as possible,'" he told The Guardian. "But then we come to reality. When you dislocate a shoulder, it takes a lot of time. The thing with shoulders is that if you don't operate and I played in a month, it could come out again."

Despite a punishing three-week spell for the Gunners that has seen them eliminated from three cup competitions, Djourou is adamant that the players can recover to lift the Premier League title and, in the process, end a six-year wait for silverware.

"I truly believe that we will be the champions," he said. "We are disappointed with our cup exits but the Premier League is still the main trophy, we are still on for it and we have to believe. I also think that people don't give us the credit we deserve. We get a lot of stick because we haven't won for a while and we just want to win and put an end to all that. To say, 'That's it, there it is'."

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